Back To School Precautions: Preventing Pink Eye

We’ve now hit August, and soon, the kiddos will be hitting the hallways, cafeterias, and school restrooms, all of which contain plenty of germs. Teaching your kids some simple habits before that first bell rings will help prevent some potential issues, such as the pink eye.

What is Pink Eye?

Pink eye is the nickname of a real condition of the eye called conjunctivitis, which is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid. There are two types of pink eye: viral and bacterial. Viral conjunctivitis, which is the most common, is caused by a virus, like a cold, and usually clears up on its own within a few days. Bacterial, however, is caused by bacteria and should be treated right away.

You’ve probably noticed that children get a pink eye often. Well, that’s because it’s highly contagious and spreads throughout daycares and schools fairly easily. While it’s certainly not life-threatening, it is still infection and should be taken care of immediately. See your doctor if you or your child is showing symptoms, especially of bacterial conjunctivitis, which can cause serious damage to your eye and your vision if left untreated.

Symptoms of Pink Eye

Pay attention to these symptoms:

  • Burning, itchy eyes

  • Redness

  • Tears in both eyes

  • A thick, sticky mucus – this may indicate a bacterial pink eye

  • Slight blurring of vision

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Sensitivity to light


Preventing Pink Eye

The most effective way you and your kids can prevent pink eye is by abiding by Rule Number 1: Wash Your Hands. Often. Always wash hands, and avoid rubbing eyes. Additionally, try not to reuse face towels and handkerchiefs, and change sheets and pillowcases frequently. Never share makeup or glasses with others, and again…wash your hands!

Have a great school year!