Children love to explore their surrounding with all of there senses, which is great for mental growth but also means that kids are constantly touching things and putting them in their mouths. This inevitably leads to the transmission of germs and illness or infection. Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an eye infection that is very contagious and easily spreads at day care centers and schools. Continue reading to learn more about what you should do if your child contracts pink eye:
Make an Appointment with Your Child's Pediatrician
While pink eye is not dangerous or a health hazard, it is of concern because how contagious it is. If your child has the symptoms of pink eye, it is important to make an appointment with his or her pediatrician. The pediatrician will be able to examine the eyes and analyze the symptoms to determine if the cause of the pink eye is bacterial or viral.
Typically, when a child has a bacterial case of pink eye, he or she will have thick yellow or greenish eye discharge and the whites of the eye will be reddened. When pink eye is caused by bacteria, your child's pediatrician will most likely prescribe antibiotic eye drops. With viral pink eye infections, the white of the eye will be reddened, but the discharge will usually be clear and watery. There is no medication for viral pink eye, but the infection should clear up on its own within several days.
Keep Your Child at Home
When your child has pink eye, it is important to keep him or her home from daycare or school to prevent the transmission of the infection to other children. If your child has been prescribed antibiotic eye drops, contact his or her day care provider or school to find out their policy about how long a child needs to be taking the eye drops before he or she can return. If pink eye is caused by a virus, most schools and daycare centers will request that the child stays home until the eye discharge has dissipated.
Disinfect Your Home
If you want to prevent the rest of your family from contracting pink eye from your child, the best thing you can do is clean and disinfect your home. Make sure to wash all of your child's linens and towels in hot water. Use a disinfectant cleaner to clean hard surfaces in your home, including door knobs, light switches, countertops, and the refrigerator door handle.
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