Pink eye, medically known as conjunctivitis, is a common eye problem for kids. This irritating condition gets its name from the appearance of the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids, which turn red or a bright pink with the infection. Pink eye can be noninfectious or it can be infectious and highly contagious.

1. Understand that frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and warm water is essential in preventing the spread of pink eye. If your child has pink eye, make sure she washes her hands more frequently than just when going to the toilet or before eating.

2. Seek treatment immediately when the first symptoms of pink eye appear to prevent or reduce the chances for contaminating the other eye or other children.

3. Realize that viral pink eye must be treated by a doctor to prevent infection and damage to the cornea. A case of viral pink eye usually clears up within 10 days.

4. Understand bacterial pink eye must be treated with antibiotics to prevent further complications from pink eye. It will also reduce the chances of passing the infection to the uninfected eye or to another person.

5. Prevent pink eye from allergic reactions by treating seasonal allergies or other allergens. Quite often, just eliminating the allergic reactions to pollen, pet dander and dust will relieve the tearing and itching that can result in non-infectious allergic pink eye.

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