Conjunctivitis is particularly common in infants and children and can be difficult to prevent. It is caused by an inflammation and irritation of the conjunctiva which is the protective layer over the eye. Symptoms include redness of the white of the eyes, watery eyes, discharge weeping from the eyes and discharge stuck on the eyelashes especially in the morning time, irritation or a gritty sensation in the eyes. It is extremely contagious and can spread easily from one eye to the other. Very often conjunctivitis can be related to a respiratory tract infection.
- Wash hands regularly, especially before and after treating your child’s eyes. Also, wash your child’s hands regularly as they tend to rub their eyes when irritated
- Avoid using the same towel or blankets as your child to prevent spread of infection
- Always use a fresh piece of gauze or cotton pad dipped in boiled cooled water to clean the eyes. Use a single piece of gauze for each eye and dispose of it immediately after. Always be careful that the water is not too hot. Wipes and eyewashes are useful when out and about
- When administering eye-drops avoid touching the eye with the eye-drop bottle
- If drops are difficult to use –ointment is also an option