Discharge present at area area on your child may be alarming, especially so if it is located around the eye. Allergies, viruses and bacteria can be responsible for causing eye discharge in toddlers. Understanding the causes for discharge from the eyes can help you properly care for your child. At home remedies may be used to care for your child. If serious conditions appear, then do not hesitate to speak with a medical professional.
Potential Causes for Toddler Eye Discharge
Toddlers may be affected by allergies. Eye discharge, which is normally clear, may be associated with allergies. Red and puffy eyes may also be present. Sneezing is commonly associated with allergies. Fevers are not associated with allergies, though they may be associated with more serious medical concerns. If you believe that your child has allergies, an allergy test may benefit your child. This will also inform you about potential causes for eye discharge in the future.
2. Sinus Infection
Sinus infections may be caused by colds. Discharge may be green colored. Deep green discharge should be a sign that your child may need to visit a doctor. Fever, headaches, congestion and coughing may be signs of a sinus infection. Use a washcloth to remove discharge. It is best to seek medical attention for any infections that a child may have.
3. Viral Conjunctivitis
Watery, clear, milky or white discharge coming from one or both eyes may be a sign of viral conjunctivitis. This will likely be associated with problems in your child’s breathing, specifically in the upper respiratory system. The eyes will be irritated and may be itchy. If you believe that your child may have a viral infection in their eye, then speak with a medical doctor immediately. Remove discharge with sterile gauze and use a new pad for each eye.
4. Bacterial Conjunctivitis
Yellow or yellow-green crust may appear on your child’s eyes in the morning. This may also manifest itself as a colored discharge throughout the day. Any discharge should be properly taken care of by using sterile gauze pads to remove the discharge from your toddler’s eye. The eyes may be swollen and appear red. Burning and itchy eyes may be present. While some symptoms may be similar to allergies, it is always best to speak with a medical professional immediately.
Home Remedies for Toddler Eye Discharge
1. Clean and Sanitize
Clean your child’s eye as best as you are able to do. If you are uncertain if they are suffering from an allergy or infection, then treat the discharge as though it were infectious. This will help to reduce the spread of the infection to the other eye. Use sterile gauze to clear one eye, and then use a different gauze pad to clean the other. If it is discolored, thick or sticky, then it is probably worth speaking with a doctor about. Excessive or prolonged discharge is also a sign that a doctor should be spoken with. After cleaning the discharge, be sure to wash your child’s face. This will help to remove any residue with may cause the potential infection to spread.
2. Make an Appointment
If you determine that your child may be experiences a serious infection, then make an appointment with a medical professional. This will not be necessary in every case, though it is important to take extra steps to ensure the health of your child. If the condition is serious and the child is in extreme discomfort, then go to an emergency room. The problem may be less severe that what the child is experiencing, but it is never wrong to take extra precautions. Your doctor will give you advice on what to do to care for your child until your appointment.
3. Compress Eyes
Using cloth to cover the eyes will help to clean the eyes and reduce swelling. Cool clothes are useful for allergies and irritants. This will help your child be more comfortable. For more serious concerns, use a separate warm cloth for each eye. Be certain to clean or apply a new cloth every hour. This will ensure that your child’s eye are properly cared for.
4. Eye Drops
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops. Your doctor will give you a schedule to maintain, but it will likely require multiple sessions throughout the day. After cleaning the eyes of discharge, you can apply the eye drops by pulling down their lower lid and dripping the drops near the inner corner of the eye. Have your child keep their eyes closed for a few minutes after application. This will ensure that the fluid does not leak out immediately. Use the eye drops for the entire length of the prescription, as this will make sure that the medication works properly.
Doctors may also prescribe ointment to be used. As with drops, be sure to properly clean the eyes of discharge. The application is similar as to that of eye drops, but be sure that the ointment is applied along the length of the lower eyelid. If your child is anxious or you are concerned about causing harm to your child’s eye, then apply the ointment at the corners of the eyes and allow it to melt into the eyes. Your doctor may be able to give you advice on proper application techniques. Like eye drops, be certain to properly follow the prescription dates.
Doctor’s may prescribe oral medication for your child. This may be as an antibiotic or pain killer. In the case of antibiotics, be certain to give your child the correct dose for the duration of the prescription. For painkillers, be sure to follow the instructions. Many parents choose to give their children additional pain killers because the child is in pain. This is because they are concerned for the comfort of their child, but many pain killers may have negative consequences if they are improperly used. It is best to follow the instructions on the bottle.
6. Prevent Contamination
Take great care to separate potentially infected cloth from clean cloth. You may want to wash infected cloth separately from regular towels and clothes. This is simply to add another layer of protection against contamination. Be certain that you are using separate towels for each eye, as infections may become more difficult to handle with the infection moving from eye to eye.
Wash your child an extra time each day. Infections that are located in the eyes can easily be transferred to the hands. Hands can transfer an infection anywhere in the house. It is particularly important to wash your child and anything that may have been touched, including yourself. Children have the tendency to touch the face of the person who is caring for them, so be certain to maintain proper care for yourself as well. Toys, doorknobs and other things that may have been touched by the child give the infection a place to stay, so be certain to clean these areas as well.
Make sure everyone in the home washes their hands and faces regularly. It is important that they clean themselves properly before leaving the home. Guests should be warned of the potential contamination to prevent themselves from spreading the infection further. It is important for people to keep their hands away from their face, as most eye infections are highly contagious. Toddler eye discharge can easily become a problem that adults and other children will have to deal with.
It is important to keep your child at home. School and social activities are places where infections can easily spread. Water, such as pools, make infections much easier to spread, so be certain to keep your child away from such areas. Additionally, other children may be afflicted by other problems, and you do not want your child to have to fight two things at once. It is best to keep your child in a safe place while they are healing. Weakened immune systems will make it easier for the other diseases to infect and grow.
After the infection is clear for a few days, be certain to give the house an additional cleaning. This will help to ensure that the house is fully cleansed. It is advisable to make an additional appointment with your child’s doctor as a follow up. They will be able to give you the go ahead to return your child to their normal social activities.
7. Share Your Experiences
Sharing your experiences with other members of our community will help others better care for their toddler’s eye discharge. You may also gain advice from other people that will help you in the care of your child. You may be able to share tips to better prevent further infection. You may learn new ways to apply eye drops or ointments. You may also be able to provide emotional support for parents who are caring for their sick children. Please support our community with your experiences, insights, ideas or simply by lending a compassionate ear.