4 Steps To Take When Your Child Has Conjunctivitis

Health & Medical Blog

Conjunctivitis, commonly called pink eye, is a common type of eye infection. While anyone can get conjunctivitis, it is very common among young children. If your child has a red eye that is crusty, watery, or has a lot of discharge coming from it, take the following steps:

Visit Your Eye Doctor

Conjunctivitis is not a serious infection and it will not cause long-term vision problems. But any time your child presents signs of an eye infection, it is a good idea to make an appointment with an eye doctor. Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacteria or a virus. If your eye doctor determines that your child has bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotic eye drops will most likely be prescribed. Antibiotic eye drops are not effective in treating viral conjunctivitis, and in most cases the infection will go away on its own in a few days. 

Make Alternate Care Plans

While conjunctivitis is not dangerous, it is very contagious. Many daycare centers and schools require children to remain at home when they are suffering from conjunctivitis to help prevent it from spreading to other children. When you learn that your child has conjunctivitis, take steps to set up alternative childcare for your child, or take time off work to care for your child yourself. Do not send your child to daycare or school when he or she has conjunctivitis-- if you do, you will probably receive a call asking you to pick your child up.

Alert Your Child's School or Daycare Center

When your child has conjunctivitis, it is a good idea to alert your child's school or daycare center so they can let other parents know that their kids may have been exposed to the virus or bacteria that causes conjunctivitis. School and daycare centers also like to be alerted so they can do extra sanitizing around the classroom to help prevent other children from contracting conjunctivitis. 

Keep Your Child Comfortable

In some cases, conjunctivitis can cause a slight burning sensation and light sensitivity. You can help keep your child comfortable by using warm compresses on the eye and administering lubricating eye drops. If your child has conjunctivitis in only one eye, try to prevent him or her from touching his or her other eye, as doing this can transfer the infection. Promote frequent hand-washing for all family members to help prevent the spread of conjunctivitis throughout the household. Contact a center like Coastal Eye Care for more information or help.


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