7 ways to protect your baby

1. Wash hands regularly

The coronavirus is spread by human contact, so washing your hands is the best way to protect against it. You should do this before touching your baby and make sure that anyone who wants to hold your baby should wash their hands too.

You should also try to make sure your baby’s hands are washed regularly. Make it a part of play or mealtimes, thoroughly washing your hands together using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Why? This will kill any viruses that may be on your hands, stopping the chance of them being passed on to others.

Click here for WHO’s handwashing guidelines.

2. Limit close interactions

As a parent it is important to try and to cut down the number of interactions between your baby and other people. For example, try to discourage people from picking them up and cuddling them (unless they’ve washed their hands first). This will help stop the spread of the virus.

As well as avoiding close contact, maintain a safe distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) between yourself and anyone who is sick and coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you or your child are nearby, you may breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus.

3. Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth

We touch numerous surfaces with our fingers throughout the day, including our faces. Our children do the same. So, for anyone who is about to handle your baby (and that includes you), make sure they’ve thoroughly washed their hands.

Why? The surfaces we touch can be contaminated with the coronavirus and once the virus has arrived on the hands it can easily be transferred into the body via the mouth, nose or eyes.

It will be difficult to stop touching different surfaces throughout the day but it’s possible to halt the passage of the virus into the body by not touching your or your baby’s face.

4. Practice good respiratory hygiene

It is important that you, and the people around your little one, follow good respiratory hygiene. When coughing or sneezing, always cover the mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue. Then dispose of used tissues immediately.

Why? Droplets from coughs and sneezes can spread viruses. By following good respiratory hygiene, you can protect your baby and the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

5. Feeling ill? Seek early medical care

The simple rule is: stay at home if you feel sick. If you have the early signs of a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, you should call your local healthcare provider first, rather than visiting in person. For more information, follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up-to-date information on the situation in your area. 

Calling in advance will enable your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the most appropriate health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent further spreading of the virus and other infections.

6. Be safe and hygienic in the preparation of food

It’s important to use separate chopping boards for raw and cooked foods, and to wash your hands between handling raw and cooked food.

You don’t have to avoid meat. Just make sure all the meat is cooked thoroughly and handled properly during preparation.

Why? Coronavirus can be spread by ingestion, therefore it’s important that the person who is preparing food is following the appropriate safety procedures.

7. Stay informed and follow advice

It is very important for you to be aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak in your country available through local health authorities. For global guidance, please consult the WHO website.

Seek advice from trustworthy, reliable sources for you and your baby and contact your healthcare professional as soon as you have any concerns relating to your health or the health of your baby.

Information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns.

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