Pink eye is a common bacterial or vital infection of the eye. So common in fact, you’ve probably had it or know someone who has caught it before. Studies have shown that if you have young children at home, they’re more likely to contract pink eye (also known as conjunctivitis) than older household members. Given the right circumstances, anyone can catch pink eye.
Do you know the symptoms of pink eye?
As a parent, it’s worth knowing that there are different types of conjunctivitis that your child could develop, and each type has its own (similar) set of symptoms. Check them out here:
Bacterial conjunctivitis: This version is incredibly contagious and is spread when contaminated objects are touched and then the bacteria is transferred from the hands to the eyes. Usually by rubbing them. Symptoms include thick, yellow mucus/discharge. Infection in one or both eyes and swelling.
Viral conjunctivitis: Incredibly contagious and spread in a similar style to the common cold and flu virus, for example through coughing and sneezing. Eyes are often itchy and watery and incredibly sensitive.
Allergy-based conjunctivitis: Not contagious and usually seasonal. Stuffy, runny nose, and light sensitivity.
Having a little one with pink eye is stressful and worrying, the last thing we want is to see our children in discomfort and pain – check out this article about how to treat Pink Eye. However, as the saying goes: prevention is better than cure! So, check out these simple childhood prevention tips to stop pink eye in its tracks!
Encourage hand washing
Your child knows to wash up for dinner, and to wash their hands after going to the bathroom, but to prevent the spread of pink eye, and to stop them from contracting it, encourage regular hand washing. Especially when at school or when they return home from a public setting.
Keep hand sanitizer nearby
If soap and water aren’t accessible, keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer nearby can reduce the spread of pink eye and other viruses.
Keep their hands to themselves
Young children play close to each other, which is one of the reasons why it’s common for them to catch colds and pink eye. However, to reduce the likelihood of them contracting bacterial conjunctivitis, remind them not to touch their friends’ faces.
Keep them at home
If your little one or child is showing signs of pink eye (see symptoms above) then keep them off school. This will help reduce the spread of the bacteria and prevent your child from contracting it again in the future!
We’re always encouraging our children to share, but when it comes to spreading bacteria we should do the opposite. When at home or school, don’t let them share towels, washcloths, or even tissues and wipes with others.
Remember! If you’re worried about your child’s vision you should call the doctor immediately. Finding out what kind of conjunctivitis or pink eye your child has contracted can ensure they’re getting the right treatment.