If Your Child Has Pink Eye, Here's How To Keep It From Spreading


Conjunctivitis is a very irritating problem, and one of the most irritating things about it is how easily it spreads. When one person in a family has conjunctivitis, it's often not long before everyone does – especially if there are children in the household. So if you have a child with pink eye, what can you do to keep it from spreading to the rest of your family – or even beyond?

Try To Keep Them From Touching Their Eyes

The younger your child is, the more difficult it will be – after all, conjunctivitis can make your eyes very itchy, so it's natural to want to rub at them. However, if your child rubs at their eyes, they are then spreading germs to everything they touch after that.

The best way to minimize this problem is to give them alternative ways to relieve the itching or burning sensations in their eyes. Wet compresses are a good way to do this; take a clean washcloth, soak it in either cold or warm water, and let your child apply this to their eyes to relieve the irritation.

Be sure to clean the washcloth between uses; running it through a hot laundry cycle is best, but you can hand-wash it with hot water and detergent as well. Also have your child wash their hands frequently; when they dry their hands after washing, make sure they use a separate hand towel (or disposable paper towels) in case some germs still remain on their hands.

Launder Linens That Come In Contact With The Face

In addition to the washcloths for compresses, there are other linens that can easily come in contact with your child's face or eyes. Pillowcases, sheets, and towels should be laundered in hot water with detergent. Daily laundering is best – even though you might not think a pillowcase could spread conjunctivitis (since only the child who already has it will come in contact with the pillowcase), this laundering can shorten the length of the conjunctivitis by preventing re-infection.

Keep Your Child At Home

Since conjunctivitis spreads so easily, it's a very good idea to keep your child home while they have it. Even if they feel otherwise healthy, if they go to school or out to play, they can easily start pink eye making the rounds of their friends and classmates; the parents and teachers won't thank you. And since keeping your child at home doesn't protect their siblings, make sure that other children in your household are washing their hands well. Contact an optometrist like one from St. John's for more information.


4 November 2015

protecting your vision as you age

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