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First Aid: Pinkeye


First AidPinkeye (or conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids. It can be caused by allergies, irritating substances, or infection from a virus or bacteria.

Some kinds of pinkeye go away on their own, but others require treatment with antibiotics. When pinkeye is caused by an infection, it can be spread easily from person to person.

Signs and Symptoms

What to Do

Seek Medical Care

If Your Child:

Think Prevention!

Wash hands well and often, especially after touching eyes. Don't allow sharing of washcloths, towels, and pillowcases. Talk to your doctor if itchy, watery, or red eyes are a frequent problem — allergies might be the cause.

If certain household things seem to irritate the eyes, try:

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014


Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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