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Subconjunctival Hemorrhage in Children: Care Instructions

Eye with subconjunctival hemorrhage, showing blood causing large red area in white of eye


Sometimes small blood vessels in the white of the eye can break, causing a red spot or speck. This is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. The blood vessels may break when your child sneezes, coughs, vomits, strains, or bends over. Sometimes there is no clear cause.

The blood may look alarming, especially if the spot is large. If your child has no pain or vision change, there is usually no reason to worry, and the blood slowly will go away on its own in 2 to 3 weeks.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Watch for changes in your child's eye. It is normal for the red spot on the eyeball to change colour as it heals. Just like a bruise on the skin, it may change from red to brown to purple to yellow.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has signs of an eye infection, such as:
    • Pus or thick discharge coming from the eye.
    • Redness or swelling around the eye.
    • A fever.
  • You see blood over the black part of your child's eye (pupil).
  • Your child has any changes in or problems with vision.
  • Your child has any pain in the eye.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.