Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Eye Infection without Pus (Viral)
- redness of the sclera (white part of the eye)
- redness of the inner eyelids
- puffy eyelids due to irritation from the infection
- watery discharge from eye
- no yellow discharge from eye or matting of eyelids
- not caused by crying or allergy.
This condition is also called pink eye, bloodshot eyes, or
Red eyes are usually caused by a viral infection and they
often occur when a child has a cold. If a bacterial
infection occurs, discharge from the eyes becomes yellow and
the eyelids are often matted together after sleeping. If
this happens, your child needs antibiotic eyedrops even if
the eyes are not red.
An irritant in the eye is the second most common cause of
red eyes. The irritant can be shampoo, smog, smoke, or
chlorine from a swimming pool. More often young children's
eyes are irritated by touching the eyes with hands carrying
dirt, food, soap, or animal saliva.
Chemical in Eye
Eye Infection with Pus
Foreign Body in Eye
Viral conjunctivitis usually lasts as long as the cold (4 to
7 days). Red eyes from irritants usually are cured within
4 hours after the irritating substance is washed out.
- Washing with soap
Wash the face and then wash the eyelids once with soap
and water. Rinse them carefully with water. This will
remove any irritants.
- Irrigating with water
For viral infections, rinse the eyes with warm water as
often as possible, at least every 1 or 2 hours while
your child is awake. Use a fresh, wet cotton ball each
time. This rinsing usually will keep a bacterial
infection from occurring.
For mild chemical irritants, irrigate the eye with warm
water for 5 minutes.
- Vasoconstrictor eyedrops
A viral infection is not helped by eyedrops.
Red eyes from irritants usually feel much better after
the irritant has been washed out. If the eyes remain
uncomfortable and bloodshot, put in some long-acting
vasoconstrictor eyedrops (a nonprescription item). Your
child needs the eyedrops recommended by your physician.
Pink eye is harmless and mildly contagious. Children
with viral conjunctivitis can attend day care or school.
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF:
- The eyelids become very red or swollen.
- Your child develops blurred vision or eye pain.
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN WITHIN 24 HOURS IF:
- A yellow discharge develops.
- The redness lasts more than 7 days.
- You have other concerns or questions.