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What Should I Do If I Suspect My Child Has an Eye Infection?

Parent Question: What Should I Do If I Suspect My Child Has an Eye Infection?

by | Feb 8, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

If you’re a parent, you know that kids can run into all sorts of bumps and scrapes as they grow up. Among these are eye infections, which can be both uncomfortable for them and worrying for you. Eye infections in children are not uncommon, but knowing what steps to take can help your child feel better faster and prevent any serious complications. So, what should you do if you suspect your child has an eye infection? Let’s dive in.

Understand the Signs

First off, it’s crucial to recognize the signs of an eye infection. These can include redness in the white of the eye, itching, discomfort, a gritty feeling in the eye, sensitivity to light, and sometimes, a yellow or green discharge that can crust over the eyelashes. If your child is old enough, they might tell you their eye “feels funny” or that it hurts. For younger kids, you might notice them rubbing their eyes more than usual.

Stay Calm and Offer Comfort

Seeing your child in discomfort can be stressful, but staying calm can help both you and your child. Offer comfort and reassure them that you’re going to help them feel better. A warm, damp cloth can be used to gently clean away any discharge. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after touching the area around their eyes to prevent spreading the infection.

Avoid Contagion

Many eye infections, like pink eye (conjunctivitis), are contagious. Teach your child not to touch or rub their eye, as this can spread the infection to the other eye or to other people. It’s also important to have them wash their hands frequently and use their own towels and washcloths, not shared ones.

Schedule a Visit with a Qualified Physician

While some minor eye irritations can resolve on their own, you shouldn’t take chances with your child’s eye health. If you suspect an eye infection, it’s best to schedule an appointment with an eye care professional or pediatrician. They can determine what’s causing the infection and recommend the best treatment, which might include antibiotic drops or ointment for bacterial infections.

Follow Through With Treatment

If the doctor prescribes medication, make sure to follow the treatment plan exactly as directed. Completing the full course of antibiotics, if prescribed, is crucial, even if your child’s eye starts to look or feel better before the medication is finished. This ensures the infection is fully cleared and can help prevent it from coming back or getting worse.

Keep Them Comfortable

While your child is recovering, help keep them comfortable. Encourage them to rest their eyes by taking breaks from screen time and bright lights. If their eyes are itchy or uncomfortable, ask your doctor if it’s okay to use a cool compress to relieve some of their discomfort.

Prevent Future Infections

Lastly, prevention is key. Teach your child the importance of not touching their eyes with unwashed hands, the proper way to wash their hands, and the significance of using their own personal items like towels and pillowcases. These simple habits can go a long way in preventing eye infections.

Eye infections in children can be a source of concern, but with the right steps, you can help your child recover quickly and comfortably. Remember, it’s always better to be safe and consult a healthcare professional if you’re unsure about your child’s symptoms. Taking prompt and appropriate action can ensure your child’s eye health is protected.

NOTE: The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. It is inherently limited and should not be solely relied upon. Always seek the advice of a medical professional for any medical questions or concerns. The content of this blog post does not create a patient-physician relationship and is not intended as medical or patient advice. Consult a doctor for answers to all medical matters.

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