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What Do I Do if My Child Has Pinkeye?

At Children's Mercy Pediatric Care North, our skilled team of pediatricians in Kansas City, MO, is here for you if your child has pink eye. Pinkeye is contagious so you need to be careful, but don't panic! We can help with advice and treatment to get your child feeling better. Keep reading about pinkeye and come see your Kansas City, MO, pediatrician if you think your child has pinkeye.

What is pink eye?

Pinkeye, or conjunctivitis, is an eye infection of the clear membrane which covers the eye (the conjunctiva). It causes the eye to become red and produce discharge, which can accumulate overnight and even stick your child's eyelids together. Other symptoms are swollen eyes and sensitivity to light. Teens and adults can get pink eye too, but it's most common in young children so you may hear about an outbreak at a place like a playground or preschool.

Pinkeye can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Pinkeye caused by a virus usually goes away without treatment, and pinkeye caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment.

What do I do?

If you notice symptoms of pinkeye in your newborn, call your Kansas City pediatrician and seek help immediately. Newborns are more likely to suffer from other complications if not treated with antibiotics and ointment immediately.

When your child has pinkeye, there are a few things you can do to ease discomfort. If they wear contacts your doctor will recommend using their glasses until the infection has cleared. Warm or cool compresses can soothe the eyes, and it's best to use disposable cotton. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after treating your child to prevent spreading pinkeye. Your doctor will recommend keeping the child out of school or daycare.

If your child is having recurring bouts of pinkeye they could have allergic conjunctivitis, which you should talk to your pediatrician about. Certain allergy medications can help prevent repeated flare-ups. Our skilled team of pediatricians at Children's Mercy Pediatric Care North can help if your child has pink eye. Contact us for an appointment in Kansas City, MO, at (816) 587-3200.

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