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Conjunctivitis in Toddlers

Conjunctivitis in toddlers, or “pink eye”,as it is most commonly called, is a new trend in the viral world. Over the years this viral infection has trickled down through school-age children and now all the way to daycare units near you, leading to conjunctivitis in toddlers. If you suspect that your toddler has conjunctivitis there are two possible causes. The first is an allergic reaction, usually due to dust or pollen. The second, and most common in daycare or school setting, is a viral infection. This can happen several ways, such as: contaminated towels, contaminated toys, lack of hand washing, and passage of bacteria from one child to another through touching contaminated areas. An unthinking toddler could even rub her nose with a hand and then scratch an eye with the same hand and contract conjunctivitis.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis in toddlers include: red eyes, swollen eyes, itchy or water eyes, and a discharge coming from the infected eye(s). If you notice these symptoms in your toddler it is important to take them to the doctor immediately. While this infection is not life threatening it is very uncomfortable and will only go away with the use of an antibiotic. Conjunctivitis in toddlers will happen if your child is in a daycare or preschool. It is important that, if your child stays in a daycare or goes to a preschool, you notify that teacher or supervisor so that they can take the necessary precautions to keep the virus from spreading. Since viral conjunctivitis is contagious, taking a few precautions at home may keep you and others in your household from contracting the virus. Wash any towels that have been used by the infected child and begin temporary use of disposable towels. Make sure that the entire family uses proper and regular hand washing procedures. Lastly, disinfect any areas that may have been contaminated by the child, such as toys or books.

Conjunctivitis in toddlers in daycare or preschool are likely to happen because of the amount interactive play that occurs in these settings. It is important to remember that this infection is minor when treated promptly and correctly. It is also important to remember that the benefits of social interaction and learning at daycare or preschool far outweigh the risk of contracting a minor viral infection. Taking precautions such as teaching your toddler the importance of hand washing will make it less likely that this virus will be contracted. Keep your toddler out of daycare or preschool until the infection has cleared up, otherwise you may start the cycle all over again and end up with another case of pink eye at your house.

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Conjunctivitis in Toddlers

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