Health Information Library

All the content of the library is provided from Mayo Clinic in English.
As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, RSPP has special access to Mayo Clinic knowledge and resources.

< Back

Pink eye: How long is it contagious?


Answer Section

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) generally remains contagious as long as your child has tearing and matted eyes. Pink eye is commonly caused by viruses or bacteria. Depending on the cause of your child's pink eye, signs and symptoms usually improve within a few days to two weeks.

Good hygiene — including hand-washing, avoiding close contact with others, and not sharing towels or pillowcases — is important. It may be okay to return to school or child care if your child does not have a fever, can practice good hygiene, and can avoid close contact with others.

Children who are not able to practice good hygiene or can't avoid close contact with others should stay home until symptoms clear up. Check with your health care provider if you have any questions about when your child can return to school or child care.

Content Last Updated: 28-Feb-2024
© 1998-2023 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use.