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Pinkeye: Important Information to Protect Your Child's Eyesight 
 
by Mary M. Alward September 09, 2005

Prevention

  • Teach your child to wash his hands frequently with soap and warm water.

  • Explain the dangers of sharing towels, washcloths, pillows, tissues, eye makeup and eye drops with other children.

  • If your child has pinkeye, be sure he washes his hands after touching his eyes. New towels should be used each time your child washes his hands or face.

  • Explain to your child the dangers of touching the infected eye and then touching the other eye.

  • Wash your hands with soap and hot water after touching your child’s eye or administering eye drops.

  • Always throw cotton balls or gauze away immediately after using them to treat your child’s eye. Washcloths and towels should be immediately put in the laundry and should never be used a second time.

  • Wash towels, washcloths, and bed linens in hot water and detergent after each use.

  • If your child is susceptible to allergic pinkeye, keep doors and windows closed when pollens are in the air.

  • Dust and vacuum daily during allergy season.

  • Irritant pinkeye can be prevented by keeping your child away from the things that he is sensitive to. This may not always be possible, but try your best.

  • Neonatal pinkeye can be prevented if doctors screen pregnant women and treat any sexually transmitted disease. If you are pregnant and have an STD, be sure to inform your doctor in order to protect your baby’s eyes.

  • All newborn infants should be given eye drops immediately after birth that will prevent pinkeye.

  • If a pregnant woman suffers from herpes and they are active when she goes into labor, a C-section should be performed to protect the baby’s eyes.

Duration of Pinkeye

The symptoms and inflammation of viral pinkeye will last one to two weeks, depending on how severe the case is. Bacterial pinkeye usually disappears in about one week. Irritant pinkeye is, at times, very long lasting if the source of irritant isn’t removed.

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