Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Red Eyes (Without Pus) - Brief Version
What causes red eyes?
If your child has red eyes, it might be from a viral
infection. A child often has red eyes when sick with a
cold. A child's eyes may also get red when they are
irritated. Shampoo, soap, smog, smoke, or swimming pool
water can bother the eyes. Even something on your child's
hands can cause a problem.
You may notice:
- The white part of the eyes and inner eyelids are red.
- Your child's eyelids are puffy.
- There is a watery fluid coming from the eye.
How can I take care of my child?
If a viral infection causes your child's red eyes:
- Rinse the eyes with lukewarm water every 1 to 2 hours.
This helps prevent a bacterial infection.
If irritation causes your child's red eyes:
- Wash your child's face with water. This helps wash away
anything that is bothering your child's eyes.
- Gently rinse the eyes with lukewarm water for 5 minutes.
- Use vasoconstrictor eye drops. If your child's eyes don't
feel better after rinsing, use eye drops.
Call your child's doctor right away if:
- Your child's eyelids get very red or swollen.
- Your child has blurred vision or eye pain.
Call your child's doctor during office hours if:
- There is a yellow discharge.
- Your child's eyes are red for more than 7 days.
- You have other concerns or questions.