If your child's eyes starting getting red and full of mucous, there is a good chance he or she may have pink eye. People can get this at any age, and it typically requires prescription eye drops to treat it properly. It can leave a person feeling miserable, though, and can cause a person's eyes to be stuck closed when waking up in the morning. If you believe your child has this, here are some tips to help him or her with it.

Go to the Doctor

Visiting a doctor is usually necessary for pink eye, simply because it will require prescription medication. The most common medication used for this is prescription eye drops, which may need to be placed in your child's eyes several times each day. The eye drops will help clear out the infection and will hydrate the eyes.

Pink eye can be the result of numerous things, and in some cases, it is a result of a bacterial infection. If your child is running a fever and has congestion in his or her chest, he or she may also need an antibiotic to clear up the problem. This is because a fever often represents a bacterial infection. If the child does not have a bacterial infection, the pink eye might be the result of a viral infection, and viral infections are not treated with antibiotics. Pink eye can also be the result of allergies.

Care for Their Eyes

In addition to getting eye drops, you may need to take other steps to ease the symptoms of pink eye that your child is experiencing. One of the best things you can do for your child is place a warm compress on his or her eyes. The warmness from the compress will help loosen up the mucus on the eyes, and this may be necessary several times a day.

In the morning, the symptoms are often the worst, as many people with pink eye wake up with their eyes sealed closed. By applying a warm compress, the mucus will loosen up enough for you to wipe it off the eyes. Within a few minutes, your child should be able to open his or her eyes.

Another option you could try is cutting slices of cold raw potatoes and placing them on the eyes. The coolness from the potatoes can be soothing to sore, crusty eyes.

Avoid Spreading It

Pink eye is very contagious, which means it can spread easily. When children have this, they should stay away from other kids until the eyes clear up. This means that you should keep your child home from school while he or she is struggling with this problem.

In addition, you may want to take steps to avoid getting this eye condition yourself or spreading it to other family members. Here are some steps you can take that will help you prevent spreading it:

  • Wash your hands often—Washing your hands is the best way to avoid contracting pink eye, and you should do this often, especially after coming near your child and his or her eyes. Have your child and other family members follow this routine too.
  • Place compresses and cloths in laundry immediately—After placing rags on your child's eyes, throw them in your laundry so they are not setting around your house. These rags will have germs on them, and anyone could get pink eye just from touching them and then touching their eyes.

If you suspect your child might have this condition, or it's not getting any better, contact a primary care physician clinic like Rural Health Services Consortium Inc.