Pink Eye in Children
Pink Eye in Children
The month of August means many things for children. From going back to school to starting a new season of sports, August brings in changes and new routines for kids. August is also recognized as Children’s eye health and safety month. One of the most common eye illnesses in children is pink eye. As the start of the new school year begins, make sure you and your children are both aware of the causes of pink eye, what pink eye in children could look like, and how to avoid it.
Causes of Pink Eye
Pink eye, otherwise known as conjunctivitis, is an infection or inflammation of the membrane that lines your eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. When blood vessels in your eye become inflamed, they will appear pink.
Some known causes for pink eye in children are bacteria and viruses infecting the eye, an allergic reaction, or a foreign object in the eye. The most common cause is a bacterial infection that occurs simultaneously with colds, respiratory infections, or COVID-19. This variation of pink eye is very contagious.
You can better identify pink eye and avoid contact with it when you know what the symptoms are and what exactly to look out for when you suspect you or your child has it. Some of the symptoms include:
- Redness of the eye due to inflamed blood vessels
- Discharge from the eyes that form a crust
- Bright green discharge
- Tearing or watery eyes
The good news about pink eye is that the symptoms are very clear and it is treatable. When you start experiencing symptoms, visit your doctor. Pink eye is typically treated with an antibiotic that can be in the form of drops or topical cream. When you begin treatment for pink eye, the symptoms lessen and it becomes less contagious. You or your child can return to normal work or school activities within 24 hours.
When left untreated, pink eye can pose a risk to the cornea of the eye. If symptoms do not clear up after a week of having pink eye, it may be indicative of a more serious problem.
How to avoid pink eye
Even though pink eye is very contagious, it is easily avoidable with the proper hygienic care and routines. Additionally, if you have pink eye, it is important to understand how to reduce the risk of spreading it. Some preventative measures you can take are:
- Avoid touching your eyes
- Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap
- Use a clean towel/facial towel daily
- Clean bedding often
- Don’t share contacts or eye cosmetics.
When you take these measures to avoid pink eye, it could mean less time your child misses school due to an illness, and more time focusing on being successful. Stay in the know about eye health and safety! To learn more about pink eye and other common illnesses in children, talk to your pediatrician! https://www.ccmhhealth.com/family-care/
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