Pediatrics Question #33


Which instruction(s) for the parent of a child with bacterial conjunctivitis is/are most
appropriate? (Select all that apply.)


  1. Have the child sit in a chair and hold his head straight to instill antibiotic drops.
    • Rationale:
  2. The child’s towels and washcloths should be kept separated from others.
    • Rationale:
  3. Before and after antibiotic drop instillation, wash hands thoroughly.
    • Rationale:
  4. Discourage the child from rubbing the affected eye to prevent spreading the bacteria.
    • Rationale:
  5. Apply warm, moist compresses for 20-30 minutes to the affected eye several times a day.
    • Rationale:



The correct answers are B, C and D. Bacterial conjunctivitis is contagious and care should be taken in sharing items that could spread the infection. Washing hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before and after eye drops will decrease the spread of infection. Instruct the child that rubbing the eye can spread the infection to the other eye and will increase the irritation. It is best to lay the child’s head in the parent’s lap to instill the drops. Sitting up with the head straight will not allow the drops to be adequately administered. An application of a warm, moist compress can be applied 3-4 times per day to the eyelid to decrease the sticky discharge. A cold compress will help alleviate the discomfort and inflammation associated with the bacterial conjunctivitis.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale