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Prima Medical Center Saigon, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Ortho K

How to care for children with pink eye?

18 September, 2023

Currently, the rate of children with pink eye is increasing remarkably. However, pink eye is not a serious disease and is mostly treated by outpatients. Parents should follow the instructions below from Prima Saigon to take care of children with pink eye properly.

Dr. Quynh Ha, Refractive & Lasik expert at Prima Saigon said pink eye is an eye infection usually caused by bacteria or viruses. A few cases are due to allergies from dust, hair, pets, drugs… However, the most common cause is an infection, which easily develops into an epidemic.

Typical symptoms of the disease are itching, pain, burning, tearing, and discharge. This may be followed by inflammation of the conjunctiva (the anteria white parts of the eyes). The disease usually occurs in one eye. A few days later it spreads to the other eye, and can also start in both eyes at the same time.

According to Dr. Quynh Ha, normally pink eye is not a serious disease and it may be resolved after 5-7 days. Children with pink eye are examined and treated as outpatients with prescriptions and eye drops as directed by doctors. Parents should monitor and take care of their children at each stage.

The incubation period of pink eye

Pediatric patients with pink eye in the early stages have symptoms of mild fever, sore throat, watery eyes, red and swollen eyes, itching, and discharge. If parents do not pay close attention, these symptoms can be confused with symptoms of respiratory disease.

The incubation period lasts 2-14 days. Children should clean their eyes three times a day and avoid rubbing their eyes. Parents should feed their children a normal diet to support their health. Avoid exposure to irritating factors such as dust, fur… At this time, children need to be relatively isolated. They can wear eye protection (normal protective glasses) to prevent the spread of the disease to other family members.

Severe stage

Children will have tearing and mucus discharge. At this time, parents should take their children to the doctor. Do not arbitrarily buy medication to avoid the risk of superinfection.

Children need to clean their eyes 6-8 times a day with Natri Clorid 0,9% (salt water). Babies They often feel uncomfortable and cry against cleaning their eyes and instilling eye drops. Therefore, parents can do that while the child is sleeping.

Children need to clean both eyes 6-8 times a day with salt water to prevent pink eye
Children need to clean both eyes 6-8 times a day with salt water

After cleaning the eyes, wipe the baby’s face with a warm towel. After use, wash and dry the towel in a separate area. Children should be isolated to prevent infection. If a bacterial cause is suspected or there are signs of superinfection, the doctor may prescribe topical antibiotic eye drops.

The severe phase may last 3-5 days. Parents should adjust nutrition and lifestyle appropriately for children to improve eye recovery resistance and prevent complications.

Foods with rich vitamins A, K, C, and B are recommended for children. Vitamin A is in liver, fish, pumpkin, dark green vegetables… Vitamin K is in eggs, carrots, cucumbers, celery, asparagus, lettuce, and broccoli. Remember to avoid hot and stimulating foods such as chili, garlic, green pepper, and carbonated drinks…

The time for children to play with electronic devices should be controlled by parents
Parents should controll the time for children to play with electronic devices

Parents should controll the time for children to play with electronic devices, such as televisions, phones, and computers. Children need to be eliminated from near tasks, such as reading books and have more time to rest.

Recovery period after pink eye

The recovery period is about 3-5 days. At this time, the symptoms of pink eye are clearly reduced. The red color in the white parts of the eyes gradually turns to normal white. After recovery, children can go back to school as normal.

Dr. Quynh Ha said that the pink eye may still be infected again. Children should wash their hands regularly and not to rub their eyes. When a child has pink eye, parents should not arbitrarily apply self-treatment, such as using breast milk to instill directly to the eyes, eye steaming inhaling eyes with herbs or betel leaves, etc… Please come and visit the Pediatric Ophthalmologists at Prima Saigon and let them be examined as well as prescribed to have a proper diagnosis and treatment management.

Our pediatric eye specialists:


Prima Saigon is one of the prestigious eye hospitals in Vietnam, recognized by the US embassy in Vietnam.

Contact to schedule an eye examination with a team of leading ophthalmologists at Prima Saigon Medical Center

  • Address: No. 27 Ky Dong, Ward 9, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Website: https://primahealth.vn/en/
  • Working hours: 07:30 – 17:00 from Monday – Saturday
  • HOTLINE: 0919-209-039 or 1900 – 9115

Prima Saigon recommends that patients should reserve their intended consultation at least three days before their visit for convenience and less waiting time.