Eye Health & Good Vision Messages 18-20
This message and lesson plan is from our Children’s Participation in Eye Health and the Promotion of Good Vision resource book for teachers and educators. Read more about the book and download it now!
Signs of Conjunctivitis
When an eye looks pink or red, this might be conjunctivitis. The eye feels itchy, uncomfortable and sticky.
The eyelids may be stuck together after sleeping. Get help after a few days if it’s not better.
Stop Eye Infections Spreading
Conjunctivitis spreads easily to other people so a child with it must not touch others without washing their hands properly.
Do not share cloths used to clean infected eyes or share towels or bedding until the eyes are better.
Take care with ointments
If the eye has white or yellow sticky discharge, the germs might be bacteria.
Antibiotic ointment is needed and MUST be used as instructed by a health worker.
- Children will know and feel able to share the message on Eye Infections.
- Children can describe the most comment eye infection, conjunctivitis.
- Children have reflected on the session.
- Introductory activities, e.g. an icebreaker, game or The Memory Line.
- Repeat the message in chorus. Add actions to this message to make it more memorable.
- In pairs or threes the children practice the message and then the group repeats it.
Often called “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is a common eye disease, especially in children. It can affect one or both eyes. The conjunctiva is a transparent layer that lines the inner eyelid and covers the white part of the eye.
Some forms of conjunctivitis can easily spread from person-to-person. Usually it’s not too serious, but it can become a more serious problem.
Viruses, allergies or bacteria can cause conjunctivitis. Plus, it can develop due to pollen and smoke or other things that contact and irritate the eyes.
Pink eye feels itchy or hot and uncomfortable. Tears can form and the eyelids can become thicker (swollen). There can be a yellow and sticky discharge and the eyelids can stick together after sleeping. People with conjunctivitis avoid bright light.
To prevent it spreading, a child with an itchy, pink eye should:
- not touch their eyes with their hands.
- wash their hands properly.
- not share cloths with others.
- not wear eye make-up.
- follow their eye doctor’s instructions.
If the conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria, ointments or drops can help. If it’s a virus then drops and ointments will not help. Infections caused by a virus can take 2-3 weeks to clear up.
You can make the itchy eye feel better by using a compress. To make a compress, soak a clean cloth in warm water and squeeze it out before putting it on your closed eyelids. Hold it there gently for a few minutes. Don’t rub the eye, even with the compress. Change the compress often.
How to make an eye cone or eye pad
Injuries to the eye can happen far away from a health centre where you can get help. It helps to cover the eye for the journey there.
Make an eye cone
- Making an eye cone is easy and it can be made from paper or card.
- Cut a circle out of a clean piece of heavy paper or thin cardboard.
- Cut into the middle in a straight line and make a small hole in the middle. Make a cone shape.
- Tape the cone, outside and inside.
- Close the injured eye and tape the cone over it using tape that sticks well to skin.
Make an eye pad
- Wash your hands well with soap and water.
- Do not touch the eye with your hands.
- Ask the person to shut both eyes while you cover the eye that needs the eye pad.
- Cover the eye with sterile gauze (from a shop or a clinic) or a very clean cloth cut into a square (6-centimetre sides).
- Layer another 1 or 2 squares over the eye and use long strips of adhesive tape that sticks to skin to keep the eye pad in place.