Top of the page
Pink eye is a problem that many children get. In pink eye, the lining of the eyelid and the eye surface become red and swollen. The lining is called the conjunctiva (say "kawn-junk-TY-vuh"). Pink eye is also called conjunctivitis (say "kun-JUNK-tih-VY-tus").
Pink eye can be caused by bacteria, a virus, or an allergy.
Your child's pink eye is caused by bacteria. This type of pink eye can spread quickly from person to person, usually from touching.
Pink eye from bacteria usually clears up 2 to 3 days after your child starts treatment with antibiotic eyedrops or ointment.
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 call line 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.
Use antibiotics as directed
If the doctor gave your child antibiotic medicine, such as an ointment or eyedrops, use it as directed. Do not stop using it just because your child's eyes start to look better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics. Keep the bottle tip clean.
To put in eyedrops or ointment:
Make your child comfortable
Prevent pink eye from spreading
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if your child has any problems.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter A934 in the search box to learn more about "Pink Eye From Bacteria in Children: Care Instructions".
Current as of: June 26, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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.
©2006-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.