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Common Signs of Common School Ailments

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Commonly referred to as pink eye, conjunctivitis can be caused by bacteria, a virus, or even allergies. The viral and bacterial types are contagious and spread through skin-to-skin contact. It is a type of inflammation that affects the covering of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelid.
Some of the possible signs and symptoms of pink eye include:
  • Swollen eyelids 
  • Teary, red, itchy, painful eye(s)
  • Pus or thick discharge that is yellowish in color that can make the eyelids stick together, particularly when sleeping
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to light.
Conjunctivitis takes one to two weeks to go away completely. However, eyedrops can help relieve some of the itching and redness. Check with your child's healthcare provider to decide when it is safe for your child to return to school. Many cases of pink eye do not need any medications, and remember that antibiotics do nothing to treat viral or allergic pink eye.


In some cases, constipation may occur in conjunction with the flu or other gastrointestinal problems. It can also accompany allergies and food intolerances, such as to dairy.
You can help prevent or treat constipation by increasing your child's fiber intake and ensuring he or she drinks plenty of water. If your child is still passing stools that are hard or pebbly after a certain amount of time, your pediatrician may recommend an oral laxative, such as MiraLAX®.


It is common for children to have diarrhea as an effect of some viruses and infections. It is often nothing to be concerned about unless it appears with other, more serious symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, or bloody diarrhea. Treatment may include determining the cause of the diarrhea, drinking solutions that contain electrolytes, and adjusting your child's diet. Very serious cases may require treatment with IV fluids.
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