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Caring for my baby during COVID19 pandemic


Caring for my baby during COVID19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it new challenges for families worldwide. We would like to be your partner in parenting by providing you reliable information to keep your baby safe. Below are some of the frequently asked questions. 

Is my baby at risk of getting coronavirus?

Like everyone else, babies may catch coronavirus from anyone infected with the virus, even if that person does not feel unwell. The virus is transmitted by droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, or by contact when a person touches an infected surface and then touches his eyes, nose or mouth.

How do I reduce my baby's risk of catching coronavirus?

  • Hand hygiene is important for ALL household members

  • Wash your hands thoroughly

    • before touching your baby, breast pumps or bottles, and

    • after nappy changes and contact with other members of the family

  • Follow pump cleaning recommendation after each use

  • Sterilize milk bottles before each use

  • Clean high-touch surfaces like baby's cot, diaper changing table, wash basins, etc. regularly

  • Avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby whilst feeding or holding him/her

  • Minimize baby's contact with people other than primary caregivers and keep a distance of at least 1m away from them (preferably 2m)

  • Avoid bringing your baby out of the house except for healthcare visits; important healthcare visits not to miss include those for jaundice checks, vaccinations, development checks, and follow up scans/blood tests as recommended by baby's doctor

Should my baby wear a mask?

No. Infants and children below 2 years old should NOT wear masks or any cloth face coverings. This is because:

  • Using a mask on a baby may increase the risk of suffocation.

  • Older infants or young toddlers are not likely to keep the mask on and will likely try to remove it, as well as touch their face more.

Do I need to use special soaps for my baby to prevent coronavirus?

No. Regular soap with water is enough to wash away most germs including coronavirus. However, as babies' skin is more sensitive, you may wish to use gentler soaps without added fragrance.

What should I do if I am unwell?

  • If you develop symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, or loss of sense of smell or taste, please see a doctor as early as possible; this applies to all other people in the same household.

  • If you feel unwell, ask another caregiver who is well to feed your baby with expressed breastmilk. If this is not possible, wear a face mask whilst feeding or holding your baby, especially if you have the symptoms listed above.

  • Continue to practise meticulous hand hygiene and care when expressing your breast milk including ensuring that the outer surface of the breast milk container is clean.

How will I know if my baby has coronavirus?

Some possible symptoms a baby with coronavirus may have include:

  • Fever (≥38°C) or low temperature (<36°C)

  • Cough or runny nose

  • Not interested in feeding, or only feeding for shorter periods or smaller amounts than usual

  • No wet diapers for > 8 hours

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Very sleepy or floppy

  • Irritability or being difficult to settle

Please consult a doctor if your baby shows any of these symptoms.

If your baby shows any of the following signs, call 995 for an ambulance right away:

  • Breathing difficulties. This includes:

    • Fast breathing (more than 60 breaths per minute)

    • Strained breathing (sucking in underneath or between the ribs)

    • Noisy grunting

  • Shallow breathing or pauses in breathing

  • Any change in colour (very pale, blue or dusky)

  • Regular jerking of the arms and legs like a fit

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