Many times parents simply do not want to get the eye drops for pink eye because they dread having to put them in! Understandable really-- no one wants to have to hold a child down and torture them with putting stuff in their eyes when they are already sore and burning!
But they need to put in the eye drops for pink eye because it is VERY contagious and you don’t want to get it, nor do you want all of the other children you care for or your family members to get it.
Pink eye is a very common infection. Most of us end up getting it sooner-or-later and probably had it as a child. It is when your eyes get inflamed and red from bacteria, viruses, or allergens. The symptoms are itchy eyes, eye pain, swelling, a yellowish discharge and when they wake up their eyes seem to be “stuck” shut, and of course the eye appears to look “pink” or really bloodshot. I have noticed a gray-pink eye ball coloration on kids with it also. Putting in the eye drops for pink eye can provide relief and aid with healing.
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So when kids get pink eye and their eye really itches, they begin to rub it. And after they rub, they then touch a toy with the hand that was rubbing the infected eye, and those germs go on that toy. The next kid picks up that toy, chews it a little or simply plays with it, then rubs his eye… You can see where I am going with this, (the next child gets it) and why it is so important to treat it! There are other illnesses that may cause an Infant Fever, but not very common with pink eye.
A doctor can determine the cause of the irritation and prescribe the correct eye drops for the type of pink eye the child has. Though you can buy eye drops at a pharmacy over-the-counter, using prescription eye drops is always a better option.
Schools and day care centers often require that a child diagnosed with pink eye stay home until they no longer have it. This really is a good idea, especially in an in-home childcare setting, because pink eye is highly contagious in environments where children are in close contact with each other as I mentioned above. But determining how long the child should stay home can be a little tricky. My experience has been that I let the child’s doctor determine when it should be safe to return, and this is usually when the obvious symptoms of pink eye no longer are present — usually in three to seven days.
I would also make sure the child is getting the doses of drops he or she needs in a day at your home. Ask the parents to bring the drops and get written permission to put in drops—if the prescription calls for them to be on them for several days past when their doctor allows them back or when their symptoms are gone. Too many times the parents will stop using the eye drops too soon and it will come back! Urge them to follow the instructions from their doctor and pharmacist!
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