Blinking Pink and Seeing Red

The moment my 3-year-old woke up today, I knew we were in for a long morning. His eye was red and gunky, and he was rubbing it vigorously. Pink eye strikes again, for the second time in a week. It seemed like it was awfully soon for a relapse to me -- like maybe the previous drops hadn't worked. Like maybe it was time to call out the big guns.

Two hours later, in the examining room at The Children's Clinic in Ladue, I discovered that the big guns were not going to be called. Instead, our health care provider placed the blame on a failure of the front-line defenses -- namely, hand-washing. She explained that it's not surprising a child who's in preschool four days a week would have recurring conjunctivitis (aka pink eye), even as often as once or twice a month, and that based on his symptoms, she thought a bacterial infection was likely given his symptoms. There are other causes too, like viruses, allergies or plugged tear ducts, and they all have different symptoms, which is why pediatricians generally want to see children with red, itchy or swollen eyes rather than diagnosing them over the phone. Pink eye is extremely contagious, especially among kids because they rub their eyes and touch each other's toys.  At this point in our conversation, she turned her full attention to the 3-year-old and said, "Keep your hands away from your face, OK?" He agreed readily, no doubt thinking of the purple dinosaur he was going to score for being a model patient.

His preschool class has been studying germs this winter -- some of it through first-hand experience, unfortunately -- but amid all the lessons on hand-washing and coughing into your elbow and tissue use, I don't remember hearing anything about not touching your face. That's one lesson my 3-year-old will be hearing over and over and over from now on.

Share This Story

Amy De La Hunt is a journalist and editor who lives in the St. Louis metro area and works across the country as a writer, copy editor, project manager and editorial consultant on everything from fiction books to monthly magazines to blog posts. When she's not chauffeuring her teenage sons to activities, Amy is an enthusiastic amateur cook, landscaper, Latin dancer and traveler. Follow Amy on Instagram @amy_in_words

Our Daily Things to Do email is the easiest way to plan your day.
Follow Us
 
Want daily ideas of things to do? How about special offers & giveaways? Sign up and we’ll handle the rest.
Things to Do

Mad Science Time at Play Street Museum
Sunday, February 25, 2024

Calling all budding scientists! Let's experiment, measure, and mix things up a bit with a morning full of exploration at Mad Science Time. Kids will get to be hands-on experimenting. All activities can be explored freely and playtime is included. 

View this event »
Paws for Reading from the St. Louis County Library
Monday, February 26, 2024
Monday, March 4, 2024
Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Read to a friendly therapy dog from DUO Dogs, Inc. After the story, the dog's handler will answer any questions kids have about therapy dogs, pet care and more. For ages 3-11. Registration is required for this free program. 

View this event »
Kindermusik Playdate
Monday, February 26, 2024
Friday, March 22, 2024
Monday, April 22, 2024

Are you interested in learning more about Kindermusik before committing to a full semester? Are you unsure how your baby or child will respond in a group setting? Join Kindermusik for a musical playdate and see firsthand how singing, moving, playing instruments, and dancing together has the power keep us connected, fuel kids' brains and bring joy. 

View this event »
You Might Also Like...

From Our Sponsors
Popular Stories

COCA Ignites Creativity and Sparks Fun for Kids of All Ages, All Summer Long

Stroll along the Walk of Fame in the Delmar Loop, and you’ll spot the playwrights, actors, and artists who got their start in St. Louis, from Tennessee Williams and Katherine Dunham, to Tina Turner and John Goodman. Just a few steps away and around the corner, a new generation of Gateway City superstars will discover their love for the visual and performing arts this summer.

Continue reading »
Life Lessons Learned at Overnight Camp

With the perfect blend of adventure and responsibility, camp life teaches kids valuable lessons they can use for the rest of their lives. If you send your child to overnight camp, here are some life lessons they are likely to learn.

Continue reading »
10 Reasons Your Teen Might Love to be a Camp Counselor

Day or sleepaway summer camp is the perfect place for teens to transition to the world of the employed. The paycheck is nice, but being a summer camp counselor has other rewards, too.

Continue reading »
Parenting the Video Game Fanatic: How to Encourage Other Interests

Every now and then I wonder if it is worth investing money and time into classes or sports my son doesn’t want to participate in. But if I hold off on signing him up for things, he does nothing except play video games until we try something new again. It’s a never-ending cycle.

Continue reading »
7 Valentine's Traditions to Start with Your Kids

Valentine’s Day is traditionally a time for couples to express their love for one another, but it is also a great chance to show your children how much you love them too. While children typically exchange cards and small gifts on Valentine's Day, this year try starting some fun new traditions for your family. 

Continue reading »
Follow Us