Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is quite common in children and can be caused by many viruses and bacteria accountable for the common cold and related infections. It is an inflammation in the conjunctiva, which is a clear membrane that covers the white area of the eye. The symptoms of conjunctivitis could be alarming, as it makes the eye quite red and spreads quickly. However, with the right treatment, your child will be better in no time.
What Causes Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is an infection caused by germs, and occurs easily when the eye has already been irritated. Some irritations include chemical soaps, chlorine, dust particles, fumes, smoke, or any other foreign substance that has entered the eye. However, some children may develop infections because of the common cold. Allergic reaction to ragweed pollen, dust mites, animal dander, and grass can also play a part in conjunctivitis. However, allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.
- Red, sore, itchy, and teary eyes.
- Sticky, greenish discharge from the eye causing the eyelids to stick together while a child sleeps.
- Puffiness around the eyes.
- Watery and itchy eyes for children with allergic conjunctivitis.
When to Contact Your Pediatrician
Contact your pediatrician if:
- the area around the child’s eye is red, swollen, and unbearably painful
- the infection does not go away after three to four days
- the child is facing issues with vision
- the child isn’t eating properly, losing energy, and develops a fever
Wash your child’s eye with a cotton ball that has been soaked in water regularly. Tepid water is the best for this type of treatment. It can be made by boiling the water and then letting it cool. Another way to treat the condition is asking for prescriptions that can be applied to the eye directly, such as ointments or eye drops. In the case of allergic conjunctivitis, a pediatrician usually prescribes an anti-allergic medicine, which can take the form of liquids, eye drops, or pills.
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is highly contagious, and a child usually gets it by getting in contact with the infected person. Make sure to keep your child home if he or she displays any of the symptoms. Teach your child to wash his or her hands habitually while at school, and to not share food or other personal objects with their classmates. If you know that your child is easily prone to allergic conjunctivitis, avoid taking your children where there are large amounts of pollen and dust.