When our children are old enough to go to school, we both look forward to and dread their first day. They’re growing up and entering the big wide world of education, and soon will be mixing with other children and making new friends.
With this comes the unfortunate reality that if one child catches a cold, has a stomach bug or gets head lice, chances are your child will get it too.
Conjunctivitis is a horrible complaint for a child to have, and it is one that is so often passed around the playground. Here is our guide to what it is, how it affects your child, and how to treat it.
What Is Conjunctivitis?
Difficult to spell but easy to get, conjunctivitis is a complaint which causes swelling of the membrane in the eye which surround the eyelids.
The conjunctiva is the tiny dot in the corner of your eye which can easily become infected in a number of ways. This can be done through rubbing your eye with unclean hands, accidentally getting something in your eye, or even swimming and being around air or water that is unclean.
Conjunctivitis causes redness over the whole of the eye and it can be terribly uncomfortable, especially in children.
Why It Is So Common In Children
The complaint is so common in children as they generally wash their hands less, rub their eyes more, and aren’t as concerned or savvy about being careful with their eyes.
In school and daycare, children often play with Playdoh, water and sand. They can easily get distracted when a new toy comes out to play, and perhaps drop what they’re doing to go and play with that new toy. They may move that annoying piece of hair out of their way, or even directly rub their eye. Sand could easily get into their eyes, or a droplet of that water from the playing pool.
How To Treat It
If you believe your child has conjunctivitis, it is really important to go and see your health practitioner, as leaving it untreated can cause further problems. It is relatively easy to treat, and your doctor will usually prescribe a series of drops to put in your child’s eye called Chloramphenicol. However, some cases will heal with time; let your doctor decide on the best course of action.
Try to encourage your children to wash their hands often and if you see them rubbing their eyes on a regular basis, take a look at their eye and seek medical attention if you’re unsure.
It’s important to remember that although conjunctivitis is not series, it can be really uncomfortable for your child. If you are unsure, speak to your health practitioner.