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Conjunctivitis


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We ask parents to keep a child with conjunctivis at home until the eye/s are no longer watering because it is so contagious, despite it being against Public Health England guidance. However, from the article in Nursery World I'm under the impression that it can be controlled with handwashing. But isn't it so that it spreads if a child touches their eyes, which a young child is likely to do? My colleague had very bad conjuctivitis a while ago and couldn't work for some days. I don't now what to do as I feel that I need to protect children and staff from catching it from a child who is infected.

http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/nursery-world/news/1158334/gp-urges-nurseries-to-relax-policies-on-conjunctivitis?

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It's a really tricky one. I'm my experience they are often far too miserable with it to be at preschool anyway, like with an ear infection. I understand the reluctance to give antibiotics - I never asked the doctor for them when mine had it. Thinking about it though, when mine had it, we didn't all get it. Perhaps it isn't as contagious as it's made out to be? Does it depend on a certain set of circumstances to spread? Poorly child rubs eye and leaves matter on something that second child picks up and rubs own eye with that particular area of hand? I don't know, I'm not a doctor, but this GP seems certain that it's not as bad as it's made out to be. The PHE guidelines are generally sensible. - it's just this one that seems out of kilter with what we all seem to believe.

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I've collected all information about contagiousness from the first page with search results on Google. All sites state that conjunctivitis (viral and bacterial) is highly contagious and spread particularly easily in daycare centres, and that children therefore should be kept at home.

However, because it is not a serious condition and parents miss out on childcare and children on school, the recommendation of Public Health England and the American Academy of Ophthalmology is that children attend daycare and school if feeling well enough, and that staff manage it through more regular handwashing and encouraging children who are ill to do the same and to not touch their eyes.

We let children with colds attend, if well enough, even if they are contagious as they otherwise would be away too much, and remind them not touch their eyes and nose, and to wash their hands after wiping their nose. It seems that the PHE wants us to threat conjunctivitis as colds. We will change our policy from 'until eyes are no longer watering' to 'until well enough to attend'.

(A final comment: I find it strange that nurseries insist that children get antibiotics for conjunctivitis. It doesn't seem to be a necessary treatment and we shouldn't encourage parents to ask for it, as they seem to do in the Nursery World article. If a child builds up resistance to antibiotics, they cannot be treated with it if getting more seriously ill later in life.)

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We ask them to visit the chemist for advise and treatment if they need it.

 

Talking to a lady about this the other day who had worked in an elderly care home for many years and they were told to bathe eyes with diluted johnsons baby shampoo to treat it ...she said it worked very well ....not that i'll be handing out that advise lol

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I think getting advice from a health professional is the best thing to do. We say, think they may have an infection, you need a proper diagnosis - most parents will at least take them to a pharmacy.

 

As ever, the best thing is prevention and that must come down to proper hand washing throughout the session.

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Isn't there two types. One that goes on its on and one that needs antibiotics? I could b wrong.

Advise in settings I have worked in have been the children can attend as long as they have treatment but I personally think in settings with tinies they should be kept off because you can't tell a baby or toddler not to rub their eyes.

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Isn't there two types. One that goes on its on and one that needs antibiotics? I could b wrong.

Advise in settings I have worked in have been the children can attend as long as they have treatment but I personally think in settings with tinies they should be kept off because you can't tell a baby or toddler not to rub their eyes.

yes there are 2 types, viral and bacterial, bacterial would be offered antibiotics to clear.

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I've heard about the Johnsons shampoo as well. I must admit I was a bit :o when a GP advised this for a 6 month old baby. We ask for the child to be collected and seek medical advice, the child can return once there has been some form of treatment in their system for 24 hours, usually drops from the chemist. Obviously if they are grumpy/ miserable with it, then they are asked to take them home/ keep them away.

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