Going to school provides your child with opportunities to make friends and to learn. However, it also exposes your child to common contagious illnesses and diseases. Among these illnesses is conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye. While this is a common disease, particularly on school grounds, there are a few things that parents can do to help their child decrease the chances of contracting it.
There are two common types of pinkeye. The first is bacterial pinkeye. This type is extremely contagious and can easily be contracted. The second is viral pinkeye. Viral pinkeye is spread similarly to the way that colds are spread and is not quite as contagious as bacterial pinkeye. However, both are easily spread in school settings.
One of the simplest ways to prevent the spread of pinkeye, and many other easily contractible diseases, is to practice frequent hand washing. Remind your child to wash their hands before eating, after playing outside, after using the restroom, and after being in public spaces. Place reminders in your own restrooms for your child. If you are concerned about the children at school washing their hands, talk to your child’s teacher about making it a constant reminder for the students to frequently wash their hands.
While sharing is an important skill to teach your child, they need to understand the difference between sharing toys and sharing germs. Tell your child that it is important that they do not share anything that comes in direct contact with their face or head, like hats, glasses, or scarves. Sharing these items will make your child prone to contracting pinkeye from a classmate or friend.
At home you should also avoid sharing towels, pillows, or blankets. These objects all easily carry the germs for pinkeye and can spread the disease quickly around a household.
If your child does happen to catch pinkeye, make sure that you keep them home from school. Since the disease is so easily spread, it is vital that you keep your child out of contact with other children or teachers who could get sick as well. It is not safe to send your child back to school until all of the symptoms have cleared up.
Although the occasional childhood illness is unavoidable, there are steps you can take to help your child prevent contracting pinkeye. For all of your eye care needs, including eye examinations in Edmonton, contact us today to set up an appointment.