This is when your baby has a discharge from the eye and is most common in newborns during the first 24 hours after birth. Babies can pick up bacteria while passing through the birth canal. If you clean your baby’s eyes regularly, it should clear up in a day or so and, if it doesn’t, see your GP as it could be caused by something else such as a blocked tear duct.
In older babies and children, a sticky and red bloodshot eye is likely to be caused by conjunctivitis, a common bacterial or viral infection that affects the lining of the outer membrane of the eye and its lids – especially if both eyes are affected .
What you can do
- Bathe the affected eye with cooled, boiled water.
- Always use a clean piece of cotton wool for bathing each eye and wipe from the inner eyelid outwards.
- Keep a separate towel and flannel for your baby in case the discharge is being caused by an infection.
- If both eyes are or become infected or the condition doesn’t clear up in a few days, see your GP.