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Source: Thailand Medical News  Mar 14, 2020  15 days ago
Parents With A Baby, How To Prepare For The Coronavirus
Parents With A Baby, How To Prepare For The Coronavirus
Source: Thailand Medical News  Mar 14, 2020  15 days ago
Parents with a newborn may be worried about them catching the coronavirus, particularly after recent media reports of an Australian infant diagnosed with it.



The positive news is, the evidence so far is babies almost never get seriously ill from the coronavirus. And even if infected, they may have no symptoms.

Even then, the coronavirus could affect infants in other ways. For instance, there may be difficulties accessing health care, consumer goods and child care.

Planning about these possibilities now, and preparing for them, can help you manage what may come.

Health care access may be tricky, but there are ways
Should the coronavirus becomes widespread, the health system will struggle to cope for a while.

Typically,up to 20% of people who get COVID-19 need treatment in hospital for up to two weeks or more.
Clinics and hospitals may be overwhelmed by others sick with the coronavirus, which may make it difficult to access health care if your baby gets sick for any reason.

Try to see if your doctor has a mobile and skype services and also check as some hospitals have their own telemedicine platforms. Check ways to be able to consult a doctor or nurse via phone or videocall rather than in person during the crisis.

Also, there are also things you can do to help keep your baby healthy so they don't need medical treatment. By protecting them, you also protect the people around them who may be more vulnerable to serious illness from the coronavirus.

Hygiene
The most important t thing you can do is to practice good hygiene yourself. This includes frequently washing your hands, avoiding close contact with other people as much as you can, coughing or sneezing into your bent elbow or a tissue, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

As babies put their hands in their mouths no matter what, frequently washing their face and hands and cleaning surfaces and objects they might touch will help protect them from any infection.

Daycare
Typically, it will come as no surprise to most parents that babies who attend daycare are sick more often.

It is because babies and small children have an immature immune system, are in very close contact with one another, and may end up sharing saliva with one another by mouthing and touching one another and the same toys.

It is best tokeep your baby away from daycare. However, if you need to use it, when you pick up your baby from daycare, wash their hands and face, change their clothes, then wash your own hands, before scooping them into that big, warm hug.

Vaccinations are up to date
Having all routine vaccination is the safest, most effective way to protect babies and children from illness.

Keep your child's vaccinations up-to-date to minimise the chance they'll need medical attention while the health system is dealing with the coronavirus.

Breastfeeding
Human breast milk contains many ingredients to help prevent and fight infection. It is recommended babies be fed only breast milk until they are six months old and continue breastfeeding with other foods into their second year of life.

If your baby is under six months and breastfeeding, offering them only breast milk protects them from a range of infections and reduces their need for medical treatment or hospitalisation.

If your baby is breastfeeding and using formula, consider replacing formula feeds with breastfeeds.

However, if you have stopped breastfeeding altogether, it is possible to start breastfeeding again if you want to (contact the national Breastfeeding Helpline for assistance).

Also if you have an older baby or toddler who is still breastfeeding, keeping breastfeeding will help protect them from other illnesses until after the coronavirus pandemic has passed.

Milk Formula
It is common and  easy to accidentally introduce germs into bottles while you're preparing infant formula. So, because medical care may be hard to access, it is worth taking extra care to prevent this.

Try to be extra careful about preparing bottles. This means always washing your hands thoroughly with soap, washing bottles thoroughly, sterilising them after every use, and making up formula with hot water.

Alsways, remember to cool down the bottle in the fridge, give it a gentle shake, and check it's not too hot before giving it to your baby.

Keep breastfeeding, is the latest advice.
 
Buy and store supplies, like nappies
Often, supply chains may be disrupted if lots of people get ill. And you may not be able to shop if you need to self-isolate at home.

It is highly recommended you have three to six weeks worth of supplies at home to prepare for this possibility. Consider stocking up on nappies for this length of time, or keeping washable (cloth) nappies on hand.

If you are formula feeding, buy enough infant formula for six weeks but check the expiry dates.

If mother contracts the coronavirus
Often, mothers are more at risk of becoming sick from the coronavirus than their babies.

And if you're breastfeeding and you're infected, it is recommended you continue breastfeeding. That's because the virus has not been found in breastmilk.

Remember, wearing a mask when you are with your baby (including during feeding), washing hands before and after contact with your baby, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and any feeding equipment will help prevent your baby catching the virus from you.

If you are are hospitalised or separated from your baby, you can ‘express’ breastmilk for them.

Keeping grandparents safe
If you or your partner get ill, someone else may need to help care for the baby or other children.

Remember babies like to share their saliva with their caregivers and they may be infected with the coronavirus but have no symptoms. So they may easily spread the infection to the people looking after them.

Many parents call on grandparents to help with child care. Unfortunately people over 60 are the most likely to get seriously ill or die from the coronavirus.

Should your standby carers be over 60, now is the time to think about making alternate childcare arrangements.
Also talk with grandparents about how they can reduce their risk of infection if they need to look after the baby.

For more on the coronavirus, keep checking at: https://www.thailandmedical.news/
 

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