Chapter 117 My child just will not let me put the eye drops in!
1. Child-related factors. Most people do not enjoy putting medication into the eye. It is uncomfortable and intrusive for a sensitive area. The natural instinct when an object nears the eye is to close it, or turn away. Adults are better able to control this instinct than children. Additional factors affecting a child’s cooperation may include fear, incomprehension of the disease or need for treatment, unpleasant effects of the drops (e.g. stinging, taste of medication), previous poor experience of eye examinations or drops, and issues that affect behavior and cooperation, in general (e.g. autism, learning difficulties).
2. Parental factors. Parents have a natural urge not to upset or hurt their child. Some are squeamish about dealing with eyes. Parents may not understand the nature of the ocular condition, or why the drops are important. There may be concerns about potential side effects. Parents may be anxious about instilling the drops correctly or accidentally touching the eye. Their anxieties may be unwittingly communicated to the child.