Conjunctivitis in children is often of the contagious variety.
Children are typically social creatures, learning how to properly interact with one another through their daily actions. They are often in close contact through daycare, preschool, and in the classroom. Of course, they don’t always know any better about what spreads conjunctivitis or pink eye, and they have to be taught properly.
There are many ways to teach children about the spread of pink eye and how to prevent it from getting worse. Here are some ideas that can help you and your kids from getting this condition, and how to avoid spreading it around.
What to Teach your Kids
The first thing to teach your kids is the concept of “hands off!” Teach them not to rub their eyes or touch their eyes without washing their hands first. Teach them how to properly use tissues and handkerchiefs, and not to share towels or personal hygiene items.
Other things to teach kids include:
· Proper hand washing techniques. This can be made fun when they’re young by using a song while they lather their hands. Make hand washing a fun, feel-good practice, and they’ll actually start to do the activity on their own.
· Teach and remind older children not to share eye drops, contact lenses, or cosmetics with each other. Sharing these items is a high-risk activity in spreading conjunctivitis. Discourage it as much as possible.
· Teach and remind children to use tissues for coughs and sneezes, and to cover their noses and mouths appropriately.
What You can Do
There are several things you can do as a caregiver, whether you are a parent or guardian, or a teacher or daycare specialist.
· Encourage the good habits listed above. Always have disposable tissues on hand for wiping eyes. It’s a good idea to carry around hand sanitizer, too, as hand to eye contact is one of the easiest ways for conjunctivitis to set in to the eyes.
· Don’t share personal items. Demonstrating good behavior is the best way to impart it onto children.
· Frequent hand washing is necessary during a pink eye outbreak. Encourage children to do the same by modeling that behavior in yourself.
· Toys, counters, sinks, faucets, and other surfaces should be kept clean, especially so during an outbreak of conjunctivitis. Take extra steps to notify your child’s teacher or daycare specialist if they have been diagnosed with pink eye so that they can sanitize their areas properly.
· Children are not allowed to return to school or daycare until their pink eye is no longer contagious. Make sure you work with your optometrist and school to make sure your child goes back to school at the right time.
Spread the word, not the condition. Call on 9290 1899 for an appointment for you or your child.