Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) in the Child

Pinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, can be caused by bacterial or viral infections or by allergic reactions to dust, pollen, and other materials. Pinkeye can be caused by many of the bacteria and viruses responsible for colds and other infections, including ear infections, sinus infections, and sore throats and by the same types of bacteria that cause the transmitted diseases chlamydia and gonorrhea. Pink eye caused by bacteria, viruses, and STDs can spread easily from person to person, but is not a serious health risk if diagnosed promptly. Pinkeye in child care settings is most often due to bacterial or viral infections. Pinkeye also can be caused by allergies. These cases tend to happen more frequently among kids who also have other allergic conditions, such as hay fever. Some triggers of allergic conjunctivitis include grass, ragweed pollen, animal dander, and dust mites. Sometimes a substance in the environment can irritate the eyes and cause pinkeye; for example, chemicals and air pollutants.

Conjunctivitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria, irritating substances , allergens or transmitted diseases (STDs). It can usually be treated with antibiotics. Red and sore eyes may be part of viral respiratory infections, including measles. Children with pinkeye complain of a scratchy feeling or pain in their eyes and may have a lot of watery or pus discharge. Red and sore eyes may be part of viral respiratory infections, including measles. Viral conjunctivitis can’t be treated with antibiotic eyedrops or ointment. Like a common cold, you can use an over-the-counter remedy to relieve some symptoms, but the virus just has to run its course. Oral antibiotics in the form of pill, eye drops, or ointment are usually prescribed for treatment. Washing hands thoroughly can help prevent the spread of this type of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can also be spread through hand contact when rubbing the eyes or touching contact lenses after touching infected genitals.

Conjunctivitis is one of the most common and treatable eye infections in children and adults. Trauma or foreign object in the eye should be considered when evaluating pink or red eyes.
Cool or warm compresses and acetaminophen or ibuprofen may make a child with pinkeye feel more comfortable. Practicing good hygiene is the best way to control the spread of pink eye. Antihistamines – these help to decrease histamine release which may help to decrease the itchy, watery eyes. Nonsedating antihistamines – work similar to antihistamines but without the side effect of making your child drowsy. Wash all infected towels, face cloths and bed linens separately from the family’s other laundry. Use detergent and the hottest water setting. Boiling them is even better. Wash all infected towels, face cloths and bed linens separately from the family’s other laundry. Use detergent and the hottest water setting. Do not let your child share towels or washcloths with anyone else, because this could spread infection.

Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) Treatment Tips

1. Don’t touch your eyes with your hands.

2. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.

3. Change your pillowcase often.

4. Discard eye cosmetics, particularly mascara.

5. Don’t use anyone else’s eye cosmetics or personal eye-care items.

6. Wear glasses instead of contact lenses.

7. Avoid sharing common articles such as unwashed towels, cups, and glasses.

8. Wash your hands after applying the eye drops or ointment to your eye or your childÂ’s eye.

9. Do not use eye drops in a non-infected eye that were used for an infected one.

10. Antihistamines – help to decrease histamine release which may help to decrease the itchy, watery eyes.