Answering Parents’ Questions about Pink Eye in Children

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A parent may notice that their child’s eyes will become sealed shut because a thick pink substance will stick to the eyelid. However, the parent should be aware that this condition is referred to as conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye. 

There are many questions parents have when their child is afflicted with pink eye. Here are some frequently asked questions a parent may have concerning this condition and their answers:

What Is Pink Eye?

Pink eye is actually a common eye infection, or conjunctivitis, caused by a bacterium or virus. The condition is known to cause a red or watery eye that’s easily irritable. The conjunctiva is the pink color that covers the white part of the eye, known as the sclera. It’s best to consult a doctor if you start to see visible signs of pink eye.

Is Pink Eye Viral or Bacterial?

A bacterial infection is usually the cause of this condition. Bacterial pink eye is divided into two types: contagious and non-contagious. The contagious version is caused by bacteria entering the eye and infecting the conjunctiva, whereas the non-contagious version is caused by irritant buildup and a lack of lubrication in the eye. It is also referred to as allergic conjunctivitis.

What Causes Pink Eye?

The fungus that causes pink eye is found around the eyes and mouths of people, especially if they are in contact with each other. The contagion is spread by touching infected eyes and sharing washcloths, towels, bedding, and cups. As the normal eye usually has mild pink eye, an infected eye can spread the fungus to the normal one.

What Does Pink Eye Affect?

The infection usually affects both eyes, but it sometimes affects just one of the eyes. It causes swelling of the eyelids, and it can spread to the whole eye area. The eye swells shut, and the eyelids cannot open. The pink coloration is due to the hardened mucus, a combination of tears and cellular debris that sticks to the eyelids. Children can feel agitated by this condition, so it’s best to soothe them and bring them to urgent care.

How Do You Deal with Pink Eye?

If the infection is viral, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic eye drop that you should use. If the condition is bacterial, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. The severity of the infection will determine the type of drops used. If the infection is severe enough that the eyes close, the doctor may recommend a stronger drop or even inject the antibiotic into the white of the eye. Do not use anything without the opinion of urgent care.

How Does One Heal from Pink Eye?

Pink eye infection resolves on its own. The doctor’s treatment will help relieve symptoms until the infection is gone. If the condition is severe enough, the doctor may recommend eye drops, ointments, or even oral antibiotics. To prevent the eye infection from spreading, it is critical to follow the doctor’s specific instructions as well as common-sense precautions.


Make certain that the infected eye is properly cared for. It is normal for a pink eye infection to take its time to heal. If you have any further questions about pink eye, speak with your child’s doctor to determine the best course of action.

In need of urgent care in New Providence? Your Kid’s Urgent Care offers superior and convenient urgent care pediatric services to all children who enter our offices. Get in touch with us now!

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