But how…?

A parent of a one year old toddler with Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia gets told to put eye drops in their child’s eyes to lubricate them. Very often it is accompanied with the instructions, “Just hold them down like so, and open the eye and put a drop in”. This is usually done the first time in an unfamiliar place while the mother is holding the toddler with both arms and legs as the screaming and squirming child is treated by the specialist who is not the least bit flustered.

Us mothers, we just nod and say, yes we’ll do it ,all the while our heads are asking us “But how will you do it?”

We get our sweet toddler home and all too soon it is time for the drops. The apprehension builds ever so slowly as we cast our eyes around for another “body” in the house to assist, but we are alone until knock-off time. The toddler feels the building fear in Mummy dear and starts to wind up the protests even before the bottle of drops comes out.

So, deep breath, bottle safely in a pocket, lets grab that child! “Oooh, Mummy wants to play” The chase is on and by the time we have snagged the shorts and wrapped a leg around their chubby belly, we are already tired.

Did you know a toddler has a fully developed Crocodile death roll ability before they can walk properly? The trick to counter that is to have one knee out like a training wheel on a bicycle at all times.

Then the arms have to be contained and the head tilted back. Try to avoid the head toss because it really hurts you chin when they connect. The arms, well the trick is to hold the right wrist of the toddler with your left hand as you tuck their left arm under your left elbow and clamp shut.

Now, with your right hand, grab the drop bottle, un-cap it with your thumb and index finger (can’t do it with your teeth as your chin is clamped down on the right shoulder of your squirm) and While you hold their chin up and steady the head with your little finger and ring finger and push the eyelid up with your thumb, gently drip the required drops into the eye with your index and middle fingers squeezing the bottle.

There, you are done.

Alternatively, find a doll with eyes that open and close. Take dolly to the toddler and play doctors. Tell him the eye drops have to go in, show him how it is done in dolly’s eye (without wasting any drops) and then lavish oodles and oodles of kisses and cuddles on the dolly, all the while telling it how brave it was. Then, ask who’s turn it is…Worked every time! 

With Love & Support

Tarja Kelly

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