How to care for your newborn at home while suffering from COVID-19.

According to Mayo Clinic, people of any age, even children, can catch COVID-19, but it most commonly affects middle-aged and older adults. The World Health Organisation states that COVID-19 is often more severe in people who are older than 60 years or who have health conditions like lung or heart disease, diabetes or conditions that affect their immune system. But a recent report by the Limpopo Department of Health shows that the province has experienced an increased number of infections in low age categories, with 67 cases of children between 0- 9 years testing positive last week.

Another report by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases states that “as of 1 May 2021, individuals aged ≤19 years made up 9.4% of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3.8% of all COVID-19-associated admissions.”

If you are a new parent suffering from COVID-19, here are ways to minimise spreading it to your newborn as given by the CDC :

– Stay home to separate yourself from others outside your home.

–  Isolate (stay away) from other household members who are not infected, and wear a mask in shared spaces.

–  Have a healthy caregiver who is not at increased risk for severe illness provide care for your newborn.

– Caregivers should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds before touching your newborn. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

– If the caregiver is living in the same home or has been in close contact with you, they might have been exposed. They should wear a mask when they are within 6 feet of your newborn for the entire time you are in isolation, and during their own quarantine after you complete your isolation.

– If a healthy caregiver is not available, you can care for your newborn if you are well enough.

– Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before touching for your newborn. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

– Wear a mask when within 6 feet of your newborn and other people during your entire isolation period. The mask helps prevent you from spreading the virus to others.

– Others in your household, and caregivers who have COVID-19, should isolate and avoid caring for the newborn as much as possible. If they have to care for the newborn, they should follow hand washing and mask recommendations above.

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