Pink Eye? Not Pink Eye?

Updated on June 02, 2013
A.M. asks from Lake Wales, FL
14 answers

Hey Guys,
I need some advice /opinions here, sorry it's kind of long. My two sons, ages 2 and 4, go to a home daycare with 3 other kids. The lady who watches them is the grandmother of one of the girls there. Well the girl started complaining that her eyes were burning and she ran a slight fever one day. The next day she woke up with her eyes crusted shut with yellow/green gunk. Her eyes were swollen but not pink. So mom took her to the doctor, who then sent her to an eye doctor. Both said that is was probably just her sinuses draining into her eyes. They put her on Vigamox and oral antibiotics and told them she was not contagious. The little girl came back to the daycar with green gunk coming out of her eyes for a couple of days more.
Three days later, my 2 year old started having green gunk coming out of his eyes and crusted shut the next morning. His eyes were not pink but he was congested. I took him to our pediatrician who diagnosed him with pink eye and put him on eye drops, Vigamox. I told our babysitter what our doctor diagnosed and that I would be keeping him home. She insisted that he did not have pinkeye because his eyes looked like her grandaughters and that it was probably just his allergies too.
Two days later, my other son wakes up with crusted eyes and a slight fever. His eyes were a little pink. I took him to the doctor who diagnosed pink eye and put him on the same drops plus oral antibiotics for an ear infection as well. He had not been congested.
The baby sitter and her daughter basically acted "grossed out" when I told him that my other son had pink (I sent them a pick to show how bad his eyes were). When I went to pick up their backpacks from the babysitter, both grandma and mom came out to talk and stated that they didn't understand how my second son could have gotten pink eye because he hasn't been around anyone with pink eye. They basically made me feel like I was some horrible mother for letting my son get pink eye AND that I should change pediatricians because he didn't know what he was talking about.
I am seriously thinking of changing sitters. I didn't appreciate her and her daughter talking to me the way they did. Also, I do not think that the little girl should have been at the house even though she didn't have pink eye. My opinion is that if your on antibiotics and have bodily fluid coming out, then you shouldn't be around others.
Am I right for thinking this way? Shouldn't they have kept the little girl at home? Do you think that maybe she had pink eye too? I have heard of sinuses draining out of eyes, but have never seen it.
Any opinions/advice is appreciated. Thank you!

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answers from Hartford on

All types of eye infections aka conjunctivitis should be treated as if they are highly, highly contagious. The ones that need to changes doctors and supposed eye specialists are the parents of the girl where the infection originated from. I have a feeling they lied to you, and that's why they're being defensive.

The grandmother of the girl, the one running the daycare, didn't follow proper protocol. If she's registered with the state as a licensed daycare, I would file a complaint against her and I would leave her. Find someone else.

EDIT: By the way "pink eye" is very misleading. It's supposed to be common layman terms for "contagious eye infection" and "conjunctivitis." There's no actual real condition called pink eye. But not only that, an eye infection does NOT HAVE TO MAKE THE EYE PINK in order to be an eye infection aka conjunctivitis aka so-called "pink eye."

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

My opinion is that the little girl DID have pink eye, and the mom and grandma were trying to keep it from you. You know, reverse psychology to think that you are the weirdo in this situation. I think they didn't want to keep her at home, because they wanted to keep making money i.e. keeping the daycare open. So they bring the sick kid in, and tell everyone that she is really OK, and hope that no one else catches it. So your boys catch it, and they blame you for being an idiot. I'd change daycare centers. My boys and I had traded pink eye for years when they were little. Never could not get it, if one of my kids did. Sounds like the same symptoms we had too.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

A., I agree 100% that you should get another sitter. A regular doctor, I can see misdiagnosing contagious conjunctivities. An eye doctor, NO. There are two kinds of conjunctivitis. One kind is viral and one is bacterial. The proof is in the pudding with your son that this child's conjunctivitis was bacterial, and therefore contagious. Your sitters weren't being honest. And to fuss at you?

Time for a new sitter.

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answers from Honolulu on

Those women don't know what they are talking about.
They are not, Doctors.
YOU know your kids have pink eye.
It is contagious.
Per schools, in my State, if a child has pink eye, they are NOT to come to school and they are sent home if they are in school.
They cannot come back to school, until it is gone.

Everyone else in the family, has to make sure they don't get it either.
It is not only kids, that get it.

My son had that once. He got antibiotic eye drops.
He had his eye infection, at the same time he had had a cold. The cold infection/bacteria, got in his eyes.

You are right.
They are wrong.

When my son had Conjuntivitis... his eyes were not "pink."

I think they were lying to you.
And their drama like emotional response to you, was them acting guilty.

Allergies, can easily CAUSE Conjunctivitis. An eye infection.
But it is an eye infection. Not an allergy, at that point.
Green gunk, STILL coming out of their eyes, they should not be at daycare.

And the thing is, fever is not caused by allergies. It is caused, by an infection.
All those kids including yours, had a fever.... PLUS eye gunk.

Then the other issue is: did the Daycare ladies, sanitize and disinfect their premises???? Even sleeping materials, has to be, sanitized.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If your pedi told you it's pink eye, then it's pink eye...sounds like pink eye....sounds like the little girl also had pink eye (otherwise why BOTH the Vigamox and oral anibiotics? but who am I?) and shouldn't have back until the goop cleared up. Anyways, I think I'd be looking for a new day care provider if it were me...Like what medical school did she graduate from? Good luck and I hope your boys feel better....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

In my opinion, the little girl should have been kept home. Since she's the granddaughter, I'm not surprised she wasn't.

It's likely your sons had exactly the same infection as the girl and it was just different doctor's opinions on the diagnosis. The little girl also went to an eye doctor so I would expect that one of those doctors would have figured it out if she did have Conjunctivitis.

Regardless of the diagnosis, the mom and grandma shouldn't have made you feel bad because your children got sick.

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answers from Dallas on

you are right. go with your gut. I think everyone had pink eye and they your sitters misunderstood their doctor.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

I think you're right-and your pediatrician, too-sounds like pink eye to me-very contagious-still contagious until you're on the antibiotic for a few days-little girl should not have been around other children-as you can see.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Since they eyes weren't pink and it was both eyes I tend to agree with the first doc. If your kids were both eyes too it's not likely to have been pink eye. Every doc is quick to say it's pink eye so they don't have to look any further. They give the drops and a few days later their eyes are still gunky and the kids go back. The doc gets another office call then actually puts them on an oral antibiotic that clears up the sinus or ear infection that is draining out the tear ducts.

It's more common than people think.

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answers from Columbia on

Bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye) is the kind that comes with green or yellow pussy discharge. It is contagious as long as there is pus (which has bacteria in it). It is treated with warm compresses to the eyes and antibiotic drops.

Viral conjunctivitis usually doesn't have any pus associated with it, but often comes along with a sinus infection or cold and cold-like symptoms. Just like the cold, it's not something that can be treated with antibiotics. Warm compresses and time will take care of it. It is VERY, VERY contagious.

I wouldn't be upset by the sitter's judgment. It's like saying that it's your fault if your kids get a cold. Silly.

I think that if your child has any signs of pink eye, you keep them home.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Well, I'm not sure about the rest, but I will just say that I had conjunctivitis one time as an adult, a few years ago. My husband drove me in to the doctor's office, and I asked him about if it was pink eye, etc. I was told that "pink eye" isn't any particular strand of conjunctivitis---any cold can cause it, if you get it in your eye. Wash your hands! Touch your face, get your cold virus on your fingers, rub your eye, and voila! You have just spread your cold virus to your eye, and you can get conjunctivitis (pink eye).

I am surprised that it doesn't happen more often than it does.

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answers from Phoenix on

I think the daughter of the baby sitter had pink just the doctor mis diagnosed them wrong. Your son may have caught it as yes they never should of brought the girl.



answers from Portland on

So, here's the deal-- there are two kinds of pink eye: viral and bacterial. And most people write off viral pink eye as a 'cold in the eye' or 'allergies' instead of treating it correctly and keeping their kid home.

BOTH bacterial and viral pink eye are contagious. I got this from a website:
"Conjunctivitis that's caused by bacteria is contagious as soon as symptoms appear and remains so as long as there is a discharge from the eye — or until 24 hours after antibiotics are started. Conjunctivitis that's caused by a virus is generally contagious before symptoms appear and can remain so as long as the symptoms last.

Allergic and irritant conjunctivitis are not contagious."

The problem is that when it's viral pink eye, people think that the drops are treating the cause, not the symptoms. That sort of pink eye is contagious while the child has goopy eyes, period.

If the girl HAD had an allergy, she likely wouldn't have had a fever and the accompanying symptoms and your kids wouldn't have gotten sick.

The tricky thing with conjunctivitis is that they give you the drops at the doctor's office and then say 'they can go back to daycare'. Just like that girI's doctor did. I spoke to a doctor at Urgent Care about this a couple years ago, when my son got it (bacterial): the doctor admitted that telling parents whose kids had viral pink eye was indeed 'bad practice' but was an accommodation which deferred to working parents. It also continues to expose the other daycare kids to the virus.

When I had my preschool I had to sanitize EVERYTHING when there was pink eye, either type. And I mean every.single.thing. Toys, blocks, anything that couldn't be washed in water was sanitized with anti-bacterial wipes. All the dress-ups went in the wash. Anything the kids touched (crayons, scissors, etc.) had to be wiped down. I took this very seriously because my other clients needed the space clean.

Yet, at my preschool, the parents still chose to send their child with viral pink eye, which is what it sounds like you and that other child were all dealing with. And this is hard because the doctors are specifically telling the parents they don't have to follow the state exclusion laws. Grrr. I had to do a LOT of sanitizing for that week as another child got it too.

Yes, find a different care provider if possible. She sounds either defensive or ignorant, and I personally wouldn't want someone with that sort of mentality caring for my kid. It's not that she didn't know all of this beforehand, it's that she's blaming your family ONLY, and that's troubling. Kids get sick-- we can all agree to that. Making you feel awful because you were a responsible parent and actually took your kids to the doctor and got good information-- that shows a lack of responsibility on her part.

Good luck.



answers from Cincinnati on

I get allergy eyes that become pink, itchy and irritated and on occasion they are glued shut and do get gunky but the gunk doesn't come out all day long.
What you are describing does not sound like allergy eyes. I think the girl had pink eye and the parents didn't want to keep her home. when they heard about your kids getting pink eye they felt guilty.

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