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Pink Eye: 5 Things You Need to Know About It & How to Avoid Your Kid Getting It

pink eyeIt seems like every month or two there is a case of pink eye at my daughter’s preschool. And it’s just not the three and four-year-olds contracting this very contagious eye malady, parents are given the gift of pink eye too,  making it a family affair.

When my daughter first heard the term ‘pink eye’ she actually wanted to get it,  she loves the color pink and thought it sounded girly and glamorous. Yeah, it’s not. So what is pink eye, how do you get it,  how do you treat it and how can your family avoid it? Here are five thing to know about pink eye.

1) Pink eye is just the cute name given to the malady known as conjunctivitis. It is named that after the affected areas – the conjunctiva – which is the outermost layer of the eye and also the inner surface of the eyelids.

2) There are several causes of pink eye. Usually it is from an viral infection but on occasion it can be bacterial or can be caused by an allergic reaction. But when people use the term pink eye, it is generally referring to viral conjunctivitis. Also pink eye can be caused by colds, ear infections or sinus infections.

3) To avoid getting pink eye, if someone in your family has it, make sure not to share any towels or washcloths and try to make sure your infected child (or you) doesn’t touch their eye and touch other objects. Make sure to have them wash their hands immediately after touching their eye. For younger children – in elementary school and  preschool – it may be best to keep them at home since they may spread it to other students.

4) As for treatment, there is no specific immediate cure for pink eye but to manage the discomfort, cold compresses can be applied and artificial tears can be put in the eye to help sooth the eye ball. But if your child has pink eye, it is advised to see their doctor to get a proper diagnosis and see if they do need special treatment.

5) To prevent pink eye invading your child’s eye make sure to do what many of us already do, have your child wash their hands frequently with soap and water. Also make sure they don’t share towels or wash towels and for those older girls…advise them not to share eye makeup.

Image: Flickr - JWLphotography

For more tips, check out Babble’s Pink Eye Guide

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