What to do if my child gets conjunctivitis?

Body Body
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Prerna Singh
a year ago

Pink eyes and ear infection are quite common in kids these days. However, there is nothing much to worry about as these infections are treatable when taken good care of. But we have come across many such cases where identifying the infection becomes quite tough. Thus, we are here with a blog that not only deals with what you can do if your child gets conjunctivitis but also with how to differentiate between normal red eyes in children with conjunctivitis.

Let us start by giving you a brief on what conjunctivitis is and how you can identify the pink eyes in toddlers.

What is conjunctivitis

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis, also common as the kid's pink eyes, is an infection where your toddler’s one or both eyes get inflamed by a bacterium, virus, or irritant. The inflammation occurs in the transparent part of the eyes which is called the conjunctiva. It’s a very common infection in toddlers as well as adults. However, when not taken care of it can lead to eye discolouration.

Here the question is, what should be done when you see pink or red eyes in children?

The first thing that must be done is to identify whether it is conjunctivitis or not.


How to identify conjunctivitis in children?

There are different types of conjunctivitis:

  • Viral
  • Bacterial
  • Allergic
  • Irritant

All these infections can have the same core symptoms or show different symptoms. You can look for the following symptoms in your child

  • Itching in eyes
  • Grainy feeling in the eyes that makes your child feel he has sand in his eyes
  • White or yellow discharge from the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Sensitivity to light


Now that you have an idea of how to identify conjunctivitis in children, let us move ahead to the most important section.


Read | ‘One In Every Two Children In India May Need Eyeglasses’

What to do when your child has conjunctivitis?

The most important thing to do when you are sure that your child has been suffering from Conjunctivitis is to get him to the doctor. It will not only help him get better treatment but will also prevent the spreading of this painful infection to others. Moreover, if his eyes are not treated for the infection it could be contagious for more than two weeks spreading the infection in a larger proportion.

The testing mostly includes a physical examination of the condition with the doctor asking you for the other symptoms. Apart from this, he might ask you for a sample for confirmation lab testing. However, this mostly happens when the medications and treatments don’t work for your child.

Cure for conjunctivitis in kids

How to treat conjunctivitis in children?

In the above sections, we mentioned how conjunctivitis can be of four different types with each type having its symptoms. Thus in this section, we deal with the treatment that applies to each type of conjunctivitis.


#1. The bacterial Conjunctivitis

The kids pink eyes caused by a bacterial infection can be treated by giving antibacterial medications. Within the initial doses, you will start seeing improvement in your kid’s condition. However, even if the redness subsides, make sure that your child completes the entire course of medication.

In most cases, a doctor prescribes antibacterial eye drop for treating red eyes in children. However, if you have a toddler you might face difficulty in using it. In such cases, you can use the eye drops by dropping it in the corner of your child’s eyes while he is fast asleep.

Moreover, we suggest you use an antibacterial ointment for toddlers rather than eye drops.  You will just have to apply it in the corner of his eyes and let it slide in on its own.


Viral Conjunctivitis

#2. Viral Conjunctivitis

Many home remedies help treat viral conjunctivitis. Moreover, there isn’t any particular medication for treating viral pink eyes in children. 

You can try out these home remedies:

  • Cleaning your child’s eyes with a wet cloth
  • You can use warm or cold compresses to soothe the burning sensation.


#3. Allergic Conjunctivitis

Your doctor might prescribe you an antihistamine or any such medication for the same.  The medication depends on the severity and symptoms of the infection. However, you can try a warm or a cold compress to soothe the burning sensation that arises.


#4. Irritant Conjunctivitis

The only way to treat the pink eye infection caused by an irritant is to flush out the irritant. However, don’t try doing it at home. Your doctor knows it better!


With that being said, let us move ahead with the next step.

There is another important work that needs to be done, and that is preventing the infection from spreading, and for that, you must know about how the disease spreads.


How does Conjunctivitis spread?

The viral and bacterial types of conjunctivitis are highly contagious. They can spread through contacting a person with the infection or by using an article owned by the infected person. Moreover, it can also spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. 

Apart from these two, the allergic and irritant conjunctivitis do not spread.


Stop the spread of conjunctivitis

What should be done to control the spread?

Kids pink eyes can be highly contagious. Thus, it is quite important to control the spread to protect others from being infected.

You must:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water when you come in touch with an infected person.
  • Do not let your kids infected with conjunctivitis rub his eyes as it may worsen his condition
  • Don’t let the infected person share his or her items


Pink eyes and ear infection cases have seen a huge rise in recent times. The prominent causes behind this being pollution and carelessness in maintaining hygiene. Thus, we must ensure that our child follows the right protocols of hygiene, whenever he goes out to play or is in school.

You should also take care of your child not being too close to people suffering from contagious diseases. Moreover, we must protect the people near us. Thus, if your child gets infected from any such diseases, don’t send him to school or outside as this will not only worsen his infection but will also spread it to the people nearby.

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
• Kids
• prevention
• cure
• eyes
• disease

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