Teaching Kids About Pink Eye

Image of a boy rubbing his eyes.

Conjunctivitis is by no means limited only to children. An infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva -- the membrane within the eyelid and protecting the white aspect of our eyes -- can occur in individuals of any age secondary to an infection, an allergic reaction or chemical irritation. Infectious conjunctivitis can be the result of a bacterial or viral infection.

In children, however, a highly contagious type of bacterial conjunctivitis can often run throughout a school or daycare facility's entire population due to the isolated subpopulation of children available as victims and habits children engage in throughout the day. According to an interview with Dr. Laura Perrin of the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians, children are often prohibited from attending school until they have been treated with antibacterial eye drops or ointments for at least 24 hours in an effort to help prevent the infection of an entire school.

Teaching Kids About Pink Eye

Both the viral and the bacterial form of infectious conjunctivitis can be transmitted directly by touch. Knowing this aspect of the disease's transmission as well as the frequency with which children rub their eyes -- particularly throughout a school day -- clearly indicates the ease by which the infection can spread throughout a classroom, school or daycare center. Depending upon their age and grade, children should be instructed about the following aspects of this disease:

• "Pink Eye" is the common name for the eye infection known medically as infectious conjunctivitis.

• Germs or bacteria cause most infectious conjunctivitis. Treatment requires antibacterial eye drops or eye ointment to help your body's defenses fight the infection.

• Viral or infectious conjunctivitis can be spread by touch, both direct and indirect. Teach your child never to intentionally touch another child's face or eye area. If this occurs accidentally, your child should wash his or her hands immediately or use an antibacterial gel.

• While it may be good manners to share school supplies, the practice shares germs and potential infections as well. Provide your child with his or her own supplies and provide instructions on how to combine courtesy with disease prevention.

• Emphasize regularly the importance of your child washing his or hands throughout the day.

• Teach your child the symptoms of pink eye that they may begin to experience before the infection becomes apparent, such as itchy eyes, blurry vision, feeling as if an eyelash or other foreign object is in the eye or light sensitivity. Children may not understand these common terms and they may need to be explained at their level, such as "if bright light hurts your eyes" as opposed to the term "acute photo-sensitivity."

• Teach your child the advanced symptoms of pink eye, such as matted eyelashes, pain with each eye blink and discolored sclera or whites of their eyes. Remove the child's pillowcase and any washcloths or towels used to be laundered so as not to spread the infection among family members.

• Teach your child why the medication they are prescribed must be applied on a regular basis until the entire prescription is complete.

Source:

New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians. “Does ‘Pink Eye’ Have You Seeing Red?”

Exclusive Offer

New private-pay patients receive 25% OFF eyewear on the first visit if you mention this ad!

Office Hours

Monday:

9:00 am-4:00 pm

Tuesday:

10:00 am-5:45 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:45 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-6:45 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:45 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-1:45 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Testimonials

  • "Very professional, thorough, helpful, informative and friendly. Great service. Highly recommend."
    A Google User - Fair Oaks, CA

Featured Articles

Read up on informative topics

  • Nystagmus

    Nystagmus is a vision condition characterized by repetitive, uncontrolled eye movements. These involuntary eye movements may be side-to-side, up and down, or in a circular pattern, which hinders the eyes’ ability to focus on a steady object. Individuals with nystagmus may hold their heads in unusual ...

    Read More
  • Macular Hole

    The condition known as a macular hole refers to a tiny break in the macula that results in blurry or distorted vision. To fully understand the condition, one must understand eye anatomy. The macula is a spot located in the center of the retina (the back portion of the eye). Located where light comes ...

    Read More
  • How It Helps

    The goal of vision therapy is to treat vision problems that cannot be fully addressed through eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. For example, studies show that vision therapy may be beneficial for addressing eyestrain and other issues that can affect a child’s reading abilities. The human brain ...

    Read More
  • How It Works

    Vision therapy, also referred to as vision training, neuro-vision therapy, or vision rehabilitation, is an optometry subspecialty. Vision therapy is prescribed to develop, improve and/or enhance visual function so an individual’s vision system functions more smoothly. Vision therapy can be beneficial ...

    Read More
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    One of the leading causes of vision loss in people who are age 50 or older is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This common eye condition leads to damage of a small spot near the center of the retina called the macula. The macula provides us with the ability to clearly see objects that are straight ...

    Read More
  • Signs and Symptoms Checklist

    Vision therapy, which is also known as vision training or visual training, is an individualized treatment program that can help identify and correct perceptual-cognitive deficiencies that are impacting visual learning, focus, and concentration. Vision Therapy for Children: Checklist While individuals ...

    Read More
  • Pediatric Ophthlamology

    Ophthalmology addresses the physiology, anatomy and diseases of the eyes. Pediatric ophthalmology focuses on the eyes of children. Pediatric ophthalmologists examine children’s eyes to see if they need corrective lenses or other treatments to improve their vision. Training for Pediatric Ophthalmologists Pediatric ...

    Read More
  • Presbyopia

    Somewhere around the age of 40, most people’s eyes lose the ability to focus on close-up objects. This condition is called presbyopia. You may start holding reading material farther away, because it is blurry up close. Reading suddenly gives you eyestrain. You might wonder when manufacturers started ...

    Read More
  • Myopia

    Myopia, or nearsightedness, means that your eyes can see close objects clearly but struggle to see things in the distance. Nearly 30 percent of Americans are nearsighted. This condition usually develops in children and teenagers, up to about the age of 20. A teacher or parent might notice a child squinting ...

    Read More
  • Diabetic Eye Diseases

    Diabetes is a condition that involves high blood sugar (glucose) levels. This can affect many parts of the body, including the eyes. One of the most common diabetic eye diseases is diabetic retinopathy, which is also a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles