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Periorbital Cellulitis In Children


Periorbital cellulitis is an infection in and under the skin around the eye. It is caused by bacteria. Periorbital cellulitis is most common in children younger than 6 years old.



  • Antibiotics: This medicine helps treat the infection.
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: These medicines help decrease your child's pain and fever. They are available without a doctor's order. Ask how much medicine your child needs and how to give it.
  • Td vaccine is a booster shot used to help prevent tetanus and diphtheria. The Td booster may be given to adolescents and adults every 10 years or for certain wounds and injuries.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.

Apply heat:

A warm, damp cloth will help soothe the eye area. Use as often as directed.

Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider in 1 to 2 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Prevent periorbital cellulitis:

  • Have your child wear proper safety equipment: Protect his face from injury during sports and other activities.
  • Keep wounds clean and dry: Clean wounds on your child's face with soap and water. Cover his wounds with a dry bandage. Use topical antibiotic ointment on skin breaks to help prevent infection. Do not let your child swim with a skin wound.

Contact your child's primary healthcare provider if:

  • Your child is bitten by an insect or animal.
  • Your child does not feel better, or his symptoms do not improve in 1 to 2 days.
  • You see red streaks on the skin of the infected area.
  • Your child's eye is more red, swollen, or starts to drain pus.
  • You have questions about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child is more sleepy than usual or is hard to wake.
  • Your child has a high fever and chills.
  • Your child says his neck feels stiff.
  • Your child has a headache and vomiting.
  • Your child has blurred or double vision and cannot see well in bright light.
  • Your child's infected eye bulges from his head.
  • Your child has a seizure.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.