Pink eye in kids

Children like to touch everything and anything, and that includes their eyes. Because of this, your child’s eyes may start getting a little red. But of course, you’re unsure if this is a cause for concern. Sound familiar? At best, your child probably rubbed his eyes a little too hard. At worse, it might be yet another case of pink eye in kids (i.e. conjunctivitis).

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Pink eye

Pink eye is not an unfamiliar name in households, but did you know there is more than one type of it?

The four types are viral, bacterial, allergic, and irritant pink eye. They differ according to the factors which cause pink eye, as can be seen from their respective names. Other than the first three mentioned, which are self-explanatory, irritant pink eye is caused by irritants like sand, dust, or even chlorine from swimming pool water. Bacterial and viral pink eye is contagious but allergic and irritant pink eye is not.

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Common symptoms:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Feeling like there’s something in your eye; a grittiness
  • Hypersensitivity to light
  • Tender, swollen, and/or puffy eyes
  • Overly watery eyes
  • Excess eye discharge and crust 

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Guard against pink eye in kids

 

 1) Instill good hand-washing habits.

 The pandemic has drilled this into our heads, but this holds true for prevention against most diseases. We use our hands to touch our faces, eat, and clean ourselves. Hence, it makes sense to ensure they’re frequently washed. Furthermore, the fingernails are an often-overlooked source of bacteria and dirt, so be meticulous in teaching your child how to scrub and soap.

2) Place a clean, cold, and damp cloth over your child’s peepers

Children are notorious for rubbing their eyes at the slightest itch. Replace the agonized relief from rubbing with a cold towel. By providing an alternative, your child will be socialized to reach for this solution in the future instead of resorting to rubbing.

3) Check the surroundings

For example, wash their pillowcases and sheets frequently and do not encourage sharing of personal items like towels or handkerchiefs.

Items concerning the eye, like glasses, eye makeup, and contacts, shouldn’t be shared either.

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References

Pink eye (Conjunctivitis). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pink-eye/symptoms-causes/syc-20376355

Pink eye in toddlers: Everything you need to know. MedicalNewsToday. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327078

Silver, Natalie. (2018, June 1). Identifying and Treating Pink Eye in Toddlers. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/pink-eye-in-toddlers