Conjunctivitis, otherwise known as pink eye, affects around six million Americans annually.

Pink eye is especially common with young kids as it’s easily spread. Luckily there are telltale signs you can familiarize yourself with so you can get your little one the treatment they need.

Here are seven ways you can recognize a pink eye in children.

1. Red or Pink Eyes

Red or Pink Eyes

“What pink eye looks like?” You ask.

Like the name suggests, the pink eye looks like dry eyes allergies. One or both eyes are reddish and look irritated.

2. Itching Eyes

Children with pink eye will also feel like their eyes are itchy or burning. Check whether they’re constantly rubbing their eyes or if they’re complaining about the discomfort. A simple way to relieve this symptom is to place a damp washcloth over their eyes as it will relieve the burning sensation.

3. Discharge

One of the top signs of pink eye is if there is discharge. This can come in various forms depending on the severity of conjunctivitis. For instance, it could be a thick mucus, yellow pus, or a clear discharge. If it’s clumping your child’s eyelashes together, then gently flush them with warm water.

4. Watery Eyes

Parents unfamiliar with the symptoms of pink eye should look for watery eyes. Excessive tearing is a common issue and is less thick than mucus. It’s also a common cause of allergic conjunctivitis.

5. Eyes Feel Gritty

Out of all the pink eye symptoms, gritty eyes are the most obvious sign. This is when your child’s eyes feel scratchy or tough. Ask your little one if it feels like a piece of sand is stuck in their eye and if they say yes, then they’ve got conjunctivitis.

How to Treat Pink Eye

How to Treat Pink Eye

When you notice several or all of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor. Purulent pinkeye is a bacterial infection that is treated with antibiotic eye drops, which will stop the illness from spreading to others. If your child has these symptoms, then they must take antibiotics before returning to school.

Non-purulent pinkeye is when the eye is pink, the discharge is clear, and there is mild discomfort. If your little one has non-purulent pinkeye, where the discharge is watery, then it’s caused by a virus. The physician will prescribe regular eye drops to help relieve the discomfort.

It’s important to prevent the spread by not sharing towels or washcloths with your child. Whenever you notice a buildup, wipe away the discharge using a clean washcloth or cotton ball. But clean or throw these after use to prevent the spread of infection.

Recognize Pink Eye in Children Today

Recognize Pink Eye in Children Today

It’s important to know the signs of pink eye in children such as itching eyes, yellow discharge, and pink or red eyeballs. If your little one has these symptoms for a week, then schedule an appointment with a doctor to receive treatment.

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