Eye flu cases rising in schools; how to protect your child from conjunctivitis
Due to heavy rains and floods, eye flu cases are surging in schools, putting kids at risk of the infection. Here's how parents can safeguard their young ones.
As conjunctivitis cases continue to surge in various parts of the country, many schools have issued guidelines to tackle the spread. The rapid spread of the highly contagious infection in Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Northeast is being attributed to floods and waterlogging due to heavy monsoon rains. Schools in Arunachal Pradesh were closed to contain the spread while in many other educational institutions, students have been asked to practice hygiene measures like washing hands frequently, avoiding touching eyes, not share hand towels and maintain social distance. (Also read: Conjunctivitis alert: Can you get eye flu by looking into someone's eyes? Know how it spreads, precautions)
Which kind of conjunctivitis is spreading nowadays?
While conjunctivitis is of many types and can be caused by bacteria, virus or allergy, the infection that is widespread nowadays is mostly acute viral infection which takes its own course and is self-limiting. The symptoms range from redness, itchiness, stickiness in eyes and swollen eyelids. In case of bacterial infection, the thick discharge from the eyes is yellow or green. While there is no immediate relief from medicine or eyedrops in case of viral infection, the symptoms take 1-2 weeks to ease.
Why children are more at risk of conjunctivitis
Kids are more likely to get conjunctivitis simply because they are more physically active than adults and stay in groups be it in school or parks. The little ones may also get their hands dirty frequently and are more likely to rub and touch their eyes which makes exposure to virus or bacteria high.
"As the seasons change, eye flu cases are surging within school premises, putting our children's precious vision at risk. It's crucial for parents and guardians to be proactive in safeguarding their young ones from this alarming trend," says Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director – India, Orbis who suggests tips to prevent the infections among children.
How to prevent eye flu in children
1. Hand hygiene
Your little ones should keep their hands clean and parents must encourage regular handwashing to prevent the spread of germs, as eye flu can be transmitted through contaminated hands.
2. Avoid touching eyes
Children often rub or touch their eyes more frequently than adults. Teach your child to refrain from touching their eyes to minimize the chance of infection.
3. Proper use of tissues
Emphasize the importance of using tissues when sneezing or coughing to reduce exposure to airborne viruses.
4. Keep personal belongings clean
Regularly sanitize eyeglasses, contact lenses, and any items that come in contact with the eyes.
5. Maintain distance
Encourage maintaining a safe distance from peers displaying symptoms to prevent transmission.
6. Seek medical attention
If your child exhibits any signs of eye flu, promptly seek medical attention to prevent complications and further spread.