With children returning to school and the world settling into a new normal, children are out socializing more, going to sleepovers, and playing with friends, which makes them more susceptible to infections like pink eye.
The team at Monarque Health and Wellness Center in Ashland, Oregon, wants you to feel equipped to handle common issues that come up in childhood, like pink eye. Our team provides top-quality pediatric care and is dedicated to supporting your child’s growth and development.
Make sure you learn what to do if your child gets pink eye.
What is pink eye?
Bacteria and viruses most commonly cause pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis. Allergies can also cause pink eye, which is easily transmitted through direct contact with an infected person's eye fluid or body fluids such as mucus from sneezing or a runny nose.
You or your child can also pick up pink eye by encountering an infected person's eye fluids on items such as towels, pillowcases, or sheets.
In children with pink eye, the conjunctiva, or white part of the eye, becomes red and inflamed. It can affect one or both eyes and usually causes a sticky discharge. Here are some common pink eye symptoms:
- Itchy eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Redness of the conjunctiva
- Eye discharge
- Eyelids that are stuck together
- Lesion on eyelids with a crusty appearance
Our team conducts a physical examination and assesses your child’s symptoms.
See a pediatrician
Not only do we determine if your child has pink eye, but we also check for allergies. While the symptoms are similar, allergies usually affect both eyes, whereas pink eye begins in one eye and can spread to the other.
If your child’s pink eye is caused by bacteria, we may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or other medication to alleviate symptoms and accelerate healing. If it’s viral, it must run its course, and you can care for your child as you would with a common cold.
If allergies are to blame, then your child is not contagious, and we work with you to treat the allergies
Keep your child home
Pink eye is highly contagious, particularly among children. That’s because it's difficult to keep children from touching their eyes. They share school supplies, toys, and food with other children, making it easy to catch or transmit pink eye.
If your child exhibits symptoms of pink eye, their school will most likely notify you and request that you pick them up. Your child will be required to remain at home.
Once your child starts treatment, we let you know when they can return to school. Depending on the type of pink eye, symptoms should improve in 3-7 days. Your child can return to school once discharge resolves.
Have your family wash their hands frequently
Your child can spread pink eye to other family members in your home. The best way to avoid the spread of pink eye and other pathogens is to have your family practice good hand washing hygiene and avoid touching their face.
It’s especially important to wash your hands after administering your child’s eye medication.
Bring your child in for evaluation if they have symptoms of pink eye. Give us a call to schedule a pediatric appointment with one of our providers. We look forward to helping your child feel better.