Conjunctivitis, otherwise known commonly as pink eye, is very common in children. There are three main causes of pink eye. Most commonly it is caused by either a viral infection or an allergy. It is less common for a child to develop a bacterial conjunctivitis.
Pink eye can give symptoms of watery, itchy, and red eyes. It may be associated with runny nose and congestion. You may notice yellow or white stringy discharge from your child’s eyes. It can start in one eye and progress to the other. In most cases of viral or allergic conjunctivitis, symptoms will resolve without any intervention. You can use a warm damp wash cloth to gently cleanse the eye. If your pediatrician suspects an allergic cause, he may prescribe an allergy eye drop that may help improve symptoms. However, if your child develops more discharge that is thicker and persists throughout the day even with gentle cleansing every 30 minutes, and redness and swelling of the area around the eye, he may have bacterial conjunctivitis which could require a topical antibiotic to treat.