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Common Toddler Eye Conditions

Health: Babies, toddlers and young children are often susceptible to eye conditions ranging from infections to injury. Knowing what symptoms to look for is important, but given the sensitivity issue around our eyes, seeing your GP is recommended.

Keratitis

A common symptom is the redness and itchiness of the infected eye, followed by a watery appearance. Often, you might feel a scratching sensation when you blink – although young children may not be able to vocalise this, so look out for them rubbing their eye. Keratitis is a viral infection caused by herpes simplex virus which causes the cornea, the front part of the eye, to become inflamed and red. Since it is a viral infection, the condition is highly contagious, so if you or your child have these symptoms you should sharing towels or face cloths, keep hands clean, and avoid rubbing or touching the eyes.

Conjunctivitis

Just like keratitis, conjunctivitis is apparent when your toddler will start to have reddish and itchy eyes. There are several types of conjunctivitis that could affect toddlers and children of all ages, however symptoms can be pretty much the same and the only way to determine the type of conjunctivitis is by checking with your GP. Mild types of conjunctivitis can easily be treated with drops from the pharmacy and vigilence about not touching the eye, keeping hands clean and avoiding contact with others.

Eye injuries

Children can get nosy most of the time. For toddlers, eye injuries, such as a scarring cornea, are common for active children. If you are not sure what happened, bring your toddler to be seen at the GP or hospital immediately.

Vision problems

It is not uncommon for children to experience vision problems, ranging from ‘lazy eye’ and stigmatisms to eyesight difficulties. Newborn screening and subsequent developmental checks with your public health nurse will help to determine if your little one has a vision problem. If you are concerned, speak to your GP about further testing.

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