Red eyes

What can you do if your child has bloodshot or red eyes? What should you pay special attention to?


The film provides simple advice and guidance on how to keep an eye on your child, what you can do to ease your child's discomfort, and when to call your general practitioner, medical on-call service or emergency helpline.

The most important advice if your child has bloodshot eyes

Many children experience having bloodshot eyes. It is usually a mild eye infection, which is harmless and will go away on its own. It often happens during a cold. The child's eyes may be red and watery. Symptoms may also include discharge and the eyes may be sticky after the child has been asleep.

Another common cause of bloodshot eyes is pollen allergy in the spring and summer. In this case, both eyes are usually red, and symptoms may also include a runny nose or a skin rash. If the eye infection is mild, the child can still attend daycare.


  • Clean the eyes a couple of times a day – from the corner of the eye and outwards – with a moisten cotton-wool ball. Do not use the same cotton-wool ball for both eyes.

  • Avoid rubbing the eyes.

  • Remember to wash your hands before and after.

Call your general practitioner in the daytime. After that, call the medical on-call service or the emergency helpline if:

  • Your child has a fever, you have poor contact with your child, and your child is drinking less than usual

  • There is severe eye infection and your child's eye is very red and swollen or there is excessive discharge

  • You sense that your child's vision is affected

  • The redness is concentrated around the cornea, i.e. close to iris (the coloured part of the eye)

  • The redness and the amount of discharge become worse after treatment with antibiotic eye drops has begun

  • Your child does not feel better after 5-7 days or if the symptoms become worse​

Or if you just feel that things are going in the wrong direction, even though you have tried the advice in this guide.​

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The most important advice if your child has bloodshot eyes (red eye)
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