What parents need to know about conjunctivitis in children
Conjunctivitis is a relatively common complaint in children, which is also often treated incorrectly. The pediatrician Dr. Marcie Billings from the renowned Mayo Clinic in the United States explains which aspects of conjunctivitis must be considered and how parents react correctly.
"In the past, conjunctivitis of the child almost always meant a visit to the doctor, antibiotics and the absence of your child at school - this is no longer the case," said Dr. Billings in a Mayo Clinic press release. In a video, the pediatrician provides detailed information about the current state of medicine in the treatment of conjunctivitis in the child.
What is conjunctivitis?
The conjunctivitis (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that covers the white of the eye and the underside of the eyelid, explains the expert. Typical symptoms are watery, red eyes and itchy eyes. In most cases, the inflammation is caused by a virus, which is the same virus that causes colds. The use of antibiotics to treat conjunctivitis is therefore inappropriate. "As we know, viruses do not respond to antibiotics," said Dr. Billings.
Which measures help?
Antibiotics promise no help, but parents can support the healing with various measures, explains the pediatrician. "Use a cool compress for the eye and consider the use of so-called artificial tears (eye drops)," said the expert. Also, conjunctivitis does not necessarily mean that your child cannot go to school. With a cold or a runny, stuffy nose, school attendance is also possible as long as the children can participate in normal school activities. It's no different with viral conjunctivitis, emphasizes Dr. Billings.
In order to avoid transmission of the pathogens, the expert advises that hand hygiene be particularly thorough, that the hands be washed often, that washcloths should not be reused, and that pillow cases should be changed frequently. If the symptoms do not improve after three days, other reasons for concern, eye pain or visual disturbances occur, according to Dr. Billings urgently advised a medical examination. (fp)