If you are a parent or a teacher, you are well aware of the scrouge of Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) in a classroom. Once a child gets it, others go down like dominos with the infection. This contagion of inflamed eyes is an enthusiastic traveler, spreading quickly through direct contact with an infected child’s bodily secretions, and naturally, classrooms, playgrounds and day care centers are its favorite breeding grounds.
According to the American Journal Of Infection Control, more than 3 million school days are missed due to Pink Eye every year. And because children cannot really estimate how everyday actions can result in the spread of a disease, they’re the age-group that is most at risk.
Through careful supervision, the spread of the Pink Eye infection can be controlled to a large extent. And it is the responsibility of both parents and teachers to ensure safety of other students when a child is known to have contracted it.
List Of Cautionary Steps To Take Against The Spread Of Pink Eye
- Schools and day care centers should encourage parents to inform them as soon as their child is known to have Pink Eye. This helps authorities to take necessary steps to sanitize the classroom and other shared environments.
- Parents should act responsibly by keeping their child at home if there is a possibility that the irritation and redness in the child’s eyes are indeed symptoms of Conjunctivitis. After the disease has taken hold, it is several days before the child can safely engage with friends again. (Usually 3-5 days after diagnosis.)
- Every member of the household should wash their hands frequently with soap to avoid risks of contracting the infection. It’s not just children who are susceptible.
- Change pillowcases and bedsheets for the affected child at least once a day.
- Disinfect kitchen counters, table-tops, TV remotes, computer accessories, phones and other household things that everybody touches.
- Schools should encourage children not to share personal items like hand towels. Ask them to use tissues and cover their mouths and noses when they sneeze or cough in the classroom.
- Discourage rubbing and touching of the eyes to arrest the spread of bacteria and viruses. Antiseptic solutions should be used frequently to wipe shared toys, books, desks, drinking fountains, faucet handles, door handles, etc.