“That is a cool pair of specs you have on.” You can hear such words for your child when you take him out. But deep inside, you know the underlying story of the pink eye your child is having underneath the pair of specs. In short, these pink eye symptoms in toddlers are a worrisome part of your life. And, maybe of all parents.
What is pink eye?
Eyes, as we know, are the most exposed part of our body. And the conjunctiva is the most exposed part of our eyes. The conjunctiva is the layer, that is transparent and covers the front of our eyes. Most importantly, it fights off and protects our eye from organisms. Moreover, it spreads the tears that lubricate our eye.
Butwhat is this pink eye thing? Even though ‘pink’ is a fancy word, but pink eye is a common childhood condition. Roaming through the emergency departments or any Pediatrics clinic, you will mostly see parents worrying about the issue of pink eye symptoms intoddlers.
Pink Eye- The Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva. And there are several causes of this Conjunctivitis. In short, the conjunctiva is injected by something or otherwise read. The blood vessels inflame and enlarge. Thus, pinkness is a clue that something is going on in the eye. A bacterial infection? Or an allergy? You need to know about the cause before you go into the pink eye symptoms in toddlers.
What are the pink eye symptoms in toddlers?
- Dry, itchy red eyes
- Excessive watering or tearing
- Discharge of some gooey liquid. White, yellow, or green forming crusts around the eyes
- The feeling of gritty sand or something stuck in the eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Puffy eyes and eyelids
- Excessive blinking
- Irritation or burning in the eyes
- Swelling around the eyes
If you find any of these symptoms, suspect Conjunctivitis.
What causes pink eye symptoms in toddlers?
Now you need to catch the culprit. The four causes of pink eyes in your kid can be:
- A viral infection (most common)
- A bacterial infection
- An allergy to something
- Irritation due to a chemical
The viral infections happen due to any other ongoing illnesses, like a common cold or any other respiratory illness. Or it can spread from another person. Furthermore, your body can give this infection from one to another part through mucous membranes. The most common viruses are Adenovirus or Herpes Virus (dangerous).
Bacterial pink eye is more contagious. It gives a colored discharge from the eyes. Many bacteria can be responsible for it. Oryou may get it via some unhygienic habit of dirty hands touching the eye or sharing contaminated eye products.
The allergy to anything can cause a pink eye. It can be grass, molds, pollen, dust, animal dander. But this pink eye is not contagious at all. Moreover, it depends upon seasonal variations and allergens present in the environment.
If your kid has some irritation due to any chemicals, chlorine in swimming pools or smoke. And the ingredients used in perfumes or and spray can go into the eyes and produce burning sensations and pink eye.
How to differentiate between different pink eye symptoms in toddlers?
Bacterial and Viral infections are contagious and can spread to others. On the other hand, the allergic and irritant types are not contagious. So, they do not get to other toddlers.
The discharge from the virus is watery, whereas the bacterial discharge is somewhat sticky, colored, can form crustiness at the junks of the eyes as well. Besides, the discharge comes again and again. The viral infection is self-limiting and can resolve within 2 days. However, the bacterial infection can take 7 to 10 days and may need some treatment.
The more-pink eye is bacterial. And the lesser and intermittent pinkness can show some allergy. Allergic pink eye can show other symptoms of sneezing and coughing as well. So does the viral pink eye.
Furthermore, the infections can be caught from the schools and day-care settings. And involve one eye mostly. On the other hand, the allergic and irritant are caught without any source and involve one or both eyes.
Signs your kid can make
You notice a change in your young toddler. He is avoiding bright light or frequently covering his eyes. Also, he is rubbing, crying, or throwing tantrums. He is having trouble concentrating. Or you may notice squinting. All these signs can guide you to peek into his eyes. Maybe something fishy is going on. You may get pink eye symptoms in toddlers.
Factors that can cause pink eyes or Conjunctivitis in toddlers
- Your child has been sick recently
- Already present symptoms like rhinos, cough, or congestion
- The kid getting the notorious bacteria from his playbox or sandbox while playing
- The comparatively unhygienic attitude of kids regarding cleanliness
- Kid while playing around grass getting hay fever
- Paints or fumes of any spray
- Sharing personal hygiene or other items
- Touching the eye with dirty hands
All these factors are very common, yet very promising to causing the pink eye symptoms in toddlers.
School off or not?
The illness is not that disturbing, for most of the mothers, but the schooling is. So, for pink eye symptoms in toddlers, you need to know only a few things to make the school off for your kid. Do not send him to school if he has
- Colored discharge from eyes
- Swelling of eyelids
- Crusting of eyes
- Red or pink in the white of the eye
All these signs show that the pink eye is contagious. And you should not send your kid to school for a few days.
The season of pink eye
The summer and spring can present a pretty picture of a pink eye. But mostly it is an allergic type. So, it is manageable with the home tips of frequent washing, cool compressors, and antihistamines.
The spread of pink eye symptoms from toddler to toddler
Can you notice how your toddler get that pink eye? Yes, it could be another toddler giving him the pink eye. The droplets spread via coughing, sneezing, or simply shaking hands. In addition, even playing together can cause an issue.
Management of pink eye symptoms in toddlers
The pink eye is manageable provided you take care of a few things. Moreover, not all pink eyes need treatment. It is nice to have one care provider and follow your kid for that issue throughout.
Does the child have a recent health issue history? Or does he wear glasses? Anyone else in the family who has got the same issue of pink eye? Or in school?
For bacterial pink eye, it is better to get an antibiotic ointment or eye drops from an Ophthalmologist. Most importantly, the completion of the treatment course is necessary.
Antivirals are not necessary for the viral pink eye, but for herpes, they can be used.
Allergic pink is treatable with the use of any antihistamine or soothing the eye. Lastly, for any chemical irritation, vigorous flushing will be helpful to get rid of pink eye.
Home remedies for the pink eye
You do not want to go for treatment? No problem. Try out the following tips for pink eye symptoms in toddlers
- Use warm and cold compresses to soothe the eyes. It reduces swelling. To sum up, viral and allergic pink eye can be best cured with this tip
- Clean the kid’s eye with a wet cloth to remove the sticky crusts
- Apply artificial tears to ease the pain and gritty sensations
Recurrent or frequent pink eye
Do not freak out if the pink eye is taking too long to go or coming again and again. To summarize,it takes 5 to 6 days normally before it completely weans off. Complete the full course of treatments,nonetheless.
However, if still, it annoys you and your kid, you may need an eye specialist. The doctor will check the eyes in detail. Moreover, he may take some sample from the eyes for a laboratory analysis. Blood culture for the stubbornbacterium can reveal out the real cause for the recurrentpink eye symptoms in toddlers.
The return to school
The viral pink eye takes 5 days to a week to go. Just stay indoors
The bacterial pink eye gets better in 24 hours. Can go to school after 24 to 48 hours
No staying at home for allergic or irritant pink eyes
The tips of prevention for pink eye symptoms in toddlers
- Proper washing of hands before and after every meal, play, or outdoor activity
- Staying at home if you get one pink eye to protect others. Moreover, limit the exposure of your kid to already infected kids
- Proper disinfecting and changing of the used toys, clothes, beddings, and pillowcases
- No touching or rubbing of eyes, unnecessarily
- No sharing of any personal eye product with the peeps
- Kids not allowed to play in mud or sand. And near dirty unclean areas. Practice good hygiene
Other causes of pink eye
Meibomitis_ inflammation of meibomian glands, that line the eyelid. But it is uncommon in toddlers
Blepharitis_ chronic eyelid inflammation. Eyelids are dry and swollen, pink eye is another symptom
Trachoma_ another pink eye infection. Babies may get this when they pass through the birth canal from the mother. Symptoms appear in toddlerhood
The takeaway message
Your kid is likely going to get the pink eye, at least, once in his toddlerhood. But this pink eye is not a big deal. It comes and goes on its own. You just need to follow a few tips. Now, if it is pink eye symptoms in toddlers or any other eye symptom, you can handle it.