Toddler Eye Discharge

Toddler eye discharge can occur with a common cold. It is important to always be aware of all the signs and symptoms your child has. The pus or discharge that can be present in your child’s eyes can be due to a viral infection, which is normally present with a child’s cold, bacterial infection, which is a more serious situation, seasonal allergies or other irritants. Knowing the causative factors as well as how to deal with them can help prevent future abnormal eye discharge in your baby.

Causes of Toddler Eye Discharge

1. Sinus infection

If your toddler has a cold, they are at risk for getting a sinus infection. It is important to look for side effects such as a fever, congestion, sinus pain and a green colored discharge. If you notice these symptoms call your pediatrician for an evaluation. In the meantime, give your little one an over the counter medication, approved for their age group, and use warm damp wash clothes to clear up any discharge, until the doctor appointment.

2. Allergies

If your toddler has a runny nose that produces clear fluid and/or sneezing and you notice their eyes red, there is a good chance that allergies are the cause. It is important to make sure that there is also no fever, because allergies will not present with a fever.

Talk to your pediatrician, as they can offer ideas regarding safe over-the-counter antihistamines for your child and cool wet wash clothes also help subside the itchiness and redness in their eyes. If these episodes continue or if they are not relieved by those methods, you should make an appointment to see the pediatrician to rule our chronic sinusitis, which is most often caused by allergies, and the doctor may feel it necessary to run allergy testing as well.

3. Bacterial conjunctivitis

Your little guy or gal can present with some symptoms, without a cold, such as waking in the morning with some crusty dried up stuff that causes their eyelids to stick together. You can use warm sterile gauze to clean off the ‘gunk’, but be sure to use a fresh one on each eye, as they may be contagious. Once they are clean off, you may notice that yellowish green colored pus begins to form in their eyes, the eyes can appear red in the white part and their eyes also may appear swollen as well. Your little one may also complain of burning in their eyes as well as being bother by light. All or some of these symptoms can be due to conjunctivitis, which is an infection that occurs in one eye and then usually spreads to the other.

Well it is time to call the pediatrician and make an immediate appointment for your child to be seen. The doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics and inform you to keep an eye out for eye pain, as this can be a sign of the infection getting worse.

4. Viral conjunctivitis

If you child has a clear or white discharge in one eye, which can spread to the other eye, with upper respiratory problems they may have the viral type of conjunctivitis. You should clean their eyes with sterile gauze, one for each eye.

Call the pediatrician, as they can examine your child and make a definitive diagnosis of them. Viral conjunctivitis is not treated with antibiotics, so seeing the doctor is pertinent.

Remedies for Toddler Eye Discharge

1. Clean the eye

Keeping the eye clean with warm water and gauze, cotton balls or a washcloth, to remove any pus or discharge is vital. Any types of medications, such as eye drops or ointment cannot work unless they are applied to an eye that is clear of any pus or discharge.

2. Use eye drops

One possible medication that can be prescribed by the pediatrician is antibiotic eye drops. It is important to maintain a schedule of one drop in each eye every four hours while your little one is awake. Make sure not to touch the tip of the eyedropper to the eye, if so clean it off thoroughly as this can allow the infection to spread. To get the drops in the child’s eye successfully, clean their eyes off before application, and then you can either pull down their lower lid to insert the drop or put the drop in the corner of the eye, near the nose. Once the drop is in their eye, have them keep their eye closed for at least two minutes, to allow the medication to absorb throughout the eye, Until the child has two mornings waking with no pus or discharge present, you should continue the drops, but once the two mornings occur you can then discontinue use.

3. Use ointment

Another medication the pediatrician can prescribe for your child is antibiotic ointment. Before applying the ointment clean the eyes thoroughly. This ointment needs to be applied by pulling down their lower lid and putting the ointment from the inner side to the outer side, four times a day. If this process is too difficult, due to eyes not being able to be opened or fear from the child, you can apply the ointment on the edges of the eyelid and it will melt and enter the eye. The ointment should be used four times a day until the child has two mornings waking up with no discharge or pus.

4. Apply compress

Compresses are an important part of the treatment. Warm clothes should be used for viral or bacterial issues and cool clothes are to be used to help with allergies or any other irritants that can be present. These clothes can help clean the eyes of all that yucky pus and discharge as well as reduce the swelling and cause some relief. Remember to use a separate cloth on each eye and they can be used at anytime, but after sleep is the most important time.

5. Take oral medication

Another helpful tool for pain relief is ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which can be taken orally. Make sure to check for the appropriate dosage.

6. Prevent the virus spreading

Virus prevention is of the utmost importance. If you are not careful, you can wind up with a houseful of pink eye. No one wants that so in order to prevent that from happening there are some steps to follow.

Step one: No sharing of towels, wash clothes or linens. That’s right, everyone needs to use his or her own. A good way to help with this is to give each member of the family a different color of towels and wash clothes.

Step two: Wash, wash, wash. Everyone needs to wash frequently, especially the effected child. Encourage him or her to wash and scrub thoroughly. A good tip is to have them sing the alphabet song two times before discontinuing the washing. Clean all household items with a disinfectant, such as counters, faucets, doorknobs, toys etc.

Step three: Don’t touch the eyes. Let everyone in the family know, several times, not to touch their eyes, and if they do to immediately wash their hands.

Step four: Once the pink eye passes, which usually happens within three to five days, wash the child’s sheets and clothes in hot water, without anyone else’s things.

If the pink eye lasts for longer than three to five days with treatment, or a week without treatment, it is important to follow up with the pediatrician.

Pink eye is super contagious. You little one should be watched and reminded not to touch their eyes and to wash often to prevent spreading the infection. Good news is that once they use the antibiotic drops for a full twenty-four hours they can go back to their normal activities, but it is important to inform any teachers or coaches to be extra careful and to disinfect regularly. It is probably a good idea to avoid swimming, as swimming pools that are not chlorinated are an easy way to transmit the infection.

When to See a Doctor

Situations that require immediate attention include symptoms, such as if your child acts or looks as though they are sick, they report that their vision is blurry, pain in the eye that is more than a mild pain, in the clear part of the eye, known as the cornea, there is haziness or cloudiness present, a rectal temperature on a child under twelve years old of 104F and children over twelve with a fever of 104F that will not go away for two hours or more after given fever reducing medication.

Situation that require a follow-up with the pediatrician, but are not emergencies, include symptoms, such as after twenty-four hours with no fever it returns, pus or discharge is still present after three days of antibiotic treatment, such as eye drops or ointment, and pus or discharge that is yellowish green in color without any other symptoms present.

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