Conjunctivitis is one of those things that most children get at least once; categorised by a red, sticky eye, it can be uncomfortable and a little gross!
1. There are three types of conjunctivitis:
- Irritant – when an irritant gets in the eye
- Allergic - when your eye comes in contact with something that causes a reaction
- Infective – caused by a virus or bacteria
Infective conjunctivitis is most common in young children mainly due to the fact they come into contact with more infections at school.
It rarely requires medical treatment and will generally heal within a week or two.
However, when it comes to newborn babies, conjunctivitis can be a serious condition and they are more at risk of either a more serious infection or permanent damage.
2. Symptoms to look out for:
- Red eyes
- Watery eyes
- Sticky coating on lashes
- Feeling of grit in the eye
- Soreness in the eye
3. Other symptoms include:
- Sore limbs
Conjunctivitis generally goes away on its own but there are things you can do to help ease your child’s symptoms:
- Over-the-counter eye drops
- Gently clean stickiness away from eye with cotton wool soaked in water
- Wash hands regularly after touching the area
- For more serious cases, your GP may prescribe an antibiotics
5. How to prevent it spreading:
- Avoid sharing pillows
- Wash hands thoroughly after treating the infected area
- Don't touch the area