It is common for children to get eye inflammation, often in connection with a cold. For the most part, it goes away within five days without treatment with any drug.
Symptoms of eye inflammation
When the child has an inflammation of the eyes, the white of the eye becomes red and irritated. It is the transparent mucosa that covers the eye and the inside of the eyelids that have become inflamed. Usually, the eye looks swollen and it can feel like it is rubbing in the eye. It also usually drains a sticky liquid, so-called, from the eye. The liquid causes the eyes to stick together, especially in the morning. For the most part, both eyes are inflamed.
When children get eye inflammation, it is usually because they have had an infection caused by viruses or bacteria in the eye. Inflammation is a way for the body to defend itself. Eye inflammation can also be due to an allergic reaction or the child has damaged or suffered eye rash.
How should eye inflammation be managed?
Wash away was in the eyes with, for example, a soft paper or a cotton swab moistened in lukewarm water.
Bacteria and mites usually get stuck in the middle, against the nose and the tear path. Therefore, wash from the outer corner of the eye to the inner corner of the eye. This way you avoid getting bacteria and scratching your eye. Then discard what you have washed to reduce the risk of infection.
If the eyes stick together, for example when the child has been asleep, you can soak a cotton swab or compress and put on the eye. Then the item usually dissolves and loosens a bit, and it is easier to wipe away.
It is good to change the pillowcase every day. The child should also have their own towel, both at home and in preschool or family daycare.
It is common for newborn babies to have yellowish secretions in their eyes. That’s because they have narrower tear ducts than older children and adults. If the baby has a lot of secretion, you can wipe it with soft paper.
Can the child be in preschool?
Even if the child is feeling well otherwise, they should be at home, partly because eye inflammation infects, and partly because the child’s eye must be washed several times a day. The child can return to the child group when the severe inflammation has healed and the eye is no longer permanent.
Children who have red eyes and little messy eyes in the morning, but not for the rest of the day, do not need to be home from pre-school if they feel good otherwise. Children with eye allergy need not be at home.
The eye infection is most easily transmitted among young children because they play so close to each other. The infection spreads, for example, when the child rubs his eyes and then touches toys or other children. School children do not have the same close contact, but if it is a severe eye infection, they may still need to be home if the eyes are irritated.
How can I avoid giving the child an eye infection?
If many in the surroundings are cold, it is good to be careful to wash your hands so as not to spread eye infections. It is also good if you change towels frequently at home and in preschool or family daycare.
Most often, eye inflammation goes away by itself within five days.
If the child has very severe inflammation and it is very much formed, or if the inflammation does not go away within five days, you should contact a health care center. If the care center is closed or you cannot get any time there, you should instead seek care at an on-call reception or emergency room. Inflammation may need to be treated with antibiotics. After two days of treatment of eye inflammation with antibiotics, it no longer becomes contagious and if the child is able and well otherwise they can go to the preschool or the family day home, or the school.