How long do you need to keep off with conjunctivitis?

(15 Posts)
bondgirl77 Tue 24-Feb-09 12:09:52

Just diagnosed today but he did go with gunky eye yesterday already actually - me thinking it was just to do with his cold because his eye was not at all red, just the area around the eye and yellow/green gunk sticking eyelids and eyelashes together. But this morning other eye was affected and doctor says he needs eye drops. How long do you keep off nursery? Or does it depend on the nursery itself? Don't think I have managed a complete week at work since he started at the blasted place due to all the tummy bugs, infections etc he has picked up, aaargh!

sophiaverloren Tue 24-Feb-09 12:14:44

DSs nursery is happy to take them as soon as they have started the drops. The first time, I had already phoned into work and was replanning the following days when the nursery happily reassured me. Not sure if this has always been policy or a new thing - maybe worth a call if you haven't already.

In any case, DSs eyes cleared up that day, so 2 days total. Another time it was 3 - I think it may depend on other things (like you I'd missed it starting because of a cold). I wouldn't have thought there was a set time limit.

bondgirl77 Tue 24-Feb-09 12:42:13

Thanks for your speedy response! I'll call the nursery then. Were yours happy to dispense the drops whilst DS was there or did you just do them before and after?

sophiaverloren Tue 24-Feb-09 12:56:11

I left them there and they did it lunchtime.
Definitely call the nursery to check - I was very surprised but it has made my life easier!
Good luck.

bondgirl77 Wed 25-Feb-09 11:29:20

Yes, my nursery was happy to have him and administer the drops, phew!

ummadam Fri 27-Feb-09 13:12:39

Depends on the nursery - The health protection agency say not need to keep off school or nursery for conjunctivitis whether bacterial or viral. Our nursery wants them off until have had antibiotic drops for 48 hours. Drives me up the wall on those occasions when as a doctor I know my child has viral conjunctivitis and I don't want them to have antibiotics when they don't need them. angry. I'm still trying to get the nursery to change its policy as it not based on current medical evidence or best practice and results in a lot of children being 'treated' for something they don't have.

juneybean Sat 28-Feb-09 00:57:56

My nursery doesn't keep children off with conjunctivitis, not sure why.

purepurple Sat 28-Feb-09 08:56:40

ummadam

so what would the best policy be for a nursery then?
To not exclude a child with conjuctivitis?
How do you tell the difference between an infection that is viral or bacterial?
In the nursery where I work we send the child home, with instructions to visit the doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment if necessary.
They can come back according to the doctor's advice.
Are there any risks in not treating conjuntivitis if it is bacterial?

ummadam Sat 28-Feb-09 17:55:31

Hi purepurple,

Well probably the HPA's guidance would be best, there is certainly no need to exclude them as long as suitable hygiene measures are taken (ie not washing all the children's faces with the same flannel after lunch! which I am sure most nurseries are sensible about anyway). It is infectious but not more than a cough or cold. It's not easy to tell the difference between bacterial or viral and it is rarely 100% clear but there are some pointers.

Bacterial conjunctivitis
Discharge is thick and creamy (pus)
Eyes may be 'stuck together' in the morning)

Viral conjunctivitis
usually thinner more watery discharge but can be thicker and look like pus.
Recent cough/cold
Lymph nodes(glands) swollen in front of the ear

There is also allergic conjunctivitis which is more itchy.

You might find this useful.

Bright red itchy eyes with yellow creamy pus = antibiotic drops. Sticky eyes that aren't read when LO has a cold (eye snot as opposed to nose snot! grin) isn't conjunctivitis and I don't want the nursery telling parents to bring them to see me. Red sticky eyes that have no pus are viral and antibiotic drops are useless in that case but most doctors would be quite happy having a look and telling you that = our nursery won't accept that as ok and still wants drops.

Most adults and children with ok immune systems do would clear bacterial conjunctivitis quite well on their own but it's uncomfortable so if it is severe there is a good case for antibiotic drops. If it is only mild then I usually discuss it with the parents and reach a compromise. If it is my son he doesn't get antibiotics unless it is severe.

Hope that makes sense. I see nothing wrong in the nursery where you work asking them to see a doctor when the eyes are bright red, itchy and sticky and then going according to their judgement.

purepurple Sun 01-Mar-09 08:03:48

thanks for that smile
I feel more able to judge whether a child should go home now

ummadam Sun 01-Mar-09 08:55:47

You're welcome, please ignore my interesting collection of typos! Sounds like your nursery has quite a sensible approach

purepurple Sun 01-Mar-09 09:06:05

yes we are all sensible grin
we are all parents ourselves, well the one that make the decisions, not all the staff!

we have to balance whether to send a child home with the parent's needs to stay at work to pay the fees

I only send a child home if they are too unwell to stay e.g. they need to be vomiting or have a high temp

some of the younger girls would send a baby home every time it sneezed, if they could!

but the biggest bug bear is when they want to send a baby home because "they have been sick" when all they have done is brought back some of their feed!

cookielove Mon 04-May-09 11:48:40

are you seriously say nursery nurses that don't have children are less capable?

i have no children and yet i feel i'm very capable of telling if a child is sick or not and believe me every other childless nursery nurse at my nursery is just as capable. You don't need to be a parent to tell if a child is unwell

'some of the younger girls would send a baby home every time it sneezed, if they could!'

That is so insulting

purepurple Tue 05-May-09 07:09:09

no, I'm not saying younger nursery nurses are less capable
but sometimes they fail to see both sides. As a working parent myself I know what it is like to have to come out of work to care for a sick child. Loss of pay, etc etc. If my child is really ill, then there is no problem. But what happens is, because the younger ones don't have that experience, they tend to not think of the consequences when they send children home.
And I am speaking from my own experiences, not yours, so how can you be insulted? I don't even know you!

cookielove Tue 05-May-09 20:27:09

I don't believe any nursery nurse could ever send a child home without a good reason, sometimes a child doesn't show obvious illness e.g temp or sickness, but if you know your children then you know there is something wrong, a child being very lathargic or clingy, a child who is full of cold that is having trouble breathing, a child who is sleepy and has trouble staying awake and is not benefiting from being at nursery should these children stay at nursery because they don't look sick or do we send these children home and think about the consequences later.

And you can't tell me you have never had a parent that has dosed there child up in the morning with calpol or something like sent them in and hoped for the best.

Maybe you should have phrased it as some of your work colleagues if those are the younger people are talking about, it seems pretty general statement

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