The water park business is booming in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and
for good reason. It’s HOT outside, and let’s face it, water
parks offer hours of entertainment for the kids. Before you head to Bahama
Beach, Hawaiian Falls, Altitude H20 or another local water park, Key-Whitman Eye Center’s
President and Chief Surgeon Jeffrey Whitman has a few words of advice.
“Be mindful of potential risks to eye health. Public pools and water
parks are more likely to be contaminated with bacteria than private pools
– more kids wearing diapers or peeing in the water. Plus, pools
also have chlorine – which alone and combined with contaminants
can irritate the eyes. While bacterial eye infections from pools are rare,
chemical irritation of the eyes from chlorine is very common. Chlorine
is really good at killing most of the bad stuff. The problem is that in
high enough amounts it can be really irritating,” Dr. Whitman says.
Dr. Whitman discusses three types of eye irritation that may occur after
visiting public pools and the different treatments required.
Take steps to prevent eye irritation before you go
Dr. Whitman encourages parents to have a chat with their kids about eye
safety before visiting a water park or public pool.
As he explains, “Oftentimes you can prevent eye irritation by avoiding
going under the water.
It’s also a good idea to wear swim goggles when you’re swimming or playing in chlorinated water. Swim goggles
come in all sizes – from little kids through adults – and
many offer UV protection, which is also important.”
Arm yourself with eye drops for red, irritated eyes
Another step Dr. Whitman recommends is keeping two types of over-the-counter
(OTC) eye drops on hand, just in case.
“If your child’s eyes look red and irritated, or they come
in and say, ‘Mom my eyes are really bugging me,’ consider
having OTC artificial tears at home to help provide relief (NOT the get the red out drops, which will get the red out at first, but give you rebound redness within
2-3 hours, leading to a vicious cycle of drop overuse.). The artificial tears, on the other hand, can be used liberally to help
wash the contaminants out. Another option is OTC antihistamine eye drops,
which are also readily available at the pharmacy. These drops can help
with minor amounts of inflammation,” says Dr. Whitman.
Dr. Whitman explains why and how to use OTC remedies to address eye irritation
related to chlorine and other contaminants in public pools and at water parks.
Call a doctor if eye irritation persists or signs of infection appear
Have your child’s eye been red and irritated for more than 24 hours?
It’s probably time to call a doctor.
According to Dr. Whitman, “If you notice your child has a lot of
eye irritation and it’s been more than 24 hours, or their eyelids
are sticking together due to mattering of the eyes, then it’s a
good time to give a pediatrician or ophthalmologist a call. At that point,
it’s important to bring them in and get their eyes checked out,
because they may need a prescription medication.”
Get more summer safety tips for kids in this helpful post:
5 Surprising Summer Eye Health Risks and What You Can Do About It
Concerned about summer eye irritation? Give us a call
If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, you can schedule an eye
appointment for your child ages 7-17 at Key-Whitman Eye Center in Dallas,
North Dallas and Mesquite offices.
If you need an eye appointment,you can visit any Key-Whitman location in Dallas, North Dallas, Arlington,
South Arlington, Mesquite or Plano locations. Simply contact our main
office at (972) 905-9128 or set up an appointment online.
ABOUT DR. WHITMAN
Jeffrey Whitman, M.D., is a nationally renowned eye surgeon, board certified
by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He has been the President and
Chief Surgeon of Key-Whitman Eye Centers in Dallas since 1996 and is currently
President of the Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society. Dr. Whitman is
a frequent participant in clinical trials and is known as a respected
researcher, innovator and leader in refractive cataract surgery, LASIK
eye surgery and for his extensive experience implanting high-technology
lenses. He is frequently called upon to serve on the boards of local and
national medical associations and organizations. Dr. Whitman and his wife
reside in Dallas and enjoy fitness, playing tennis, snow skiing and traveling.