If you have a baby, you can worry about getting the coronavirus, especially according to media reports from an Australian child who was diagnosed with it.
If you think about and prepare for these options now, you can better control what may come.
Access to health care may be difficult, but there are options
Up to 20 percent of people who receive COVID-19 need hospital treatment for up to two weeks or more.
Hospitals and general practitioners can be overwhelmed by other people with the coronavirus, which can make access to healthcare difficult if your baby gets sick for any reason.
In recognition of this, the Australian government recently announced special regulations for parents of newborn babies that must be charged if a doctor or nurse is consulted by phone or video call, rather than in person.
There are also things you can do to keep your baby healthy so it doesn’t need medical attention. By protecting them, you also protect people around them, who may be more susceptible to serious illnesses, from the coronavirus.
Think about hygiene
The first thing you can do is practice good hygiene yourself. This includes washing your hands frequently, avoiding close contact with other people, coughing or sneezing in your curved elbows or a handkerchief, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Because babies definitely put their hands in their mouths, they can be protected from infection by washing their face and hands frequently, and cleaning surfaces and objects that may touch them.
How about a daycare center?
For most parents, it’s no surprise that babies who go to daycare are sick more often.
This is because babies and toddlers have an immature immune system, are in very close contact with each other and may share saliva by mouthing and touching each other and the same toys.
If you can, keep your baby away from the daycare. However, if you need to use it when you pick up your baby from the daycare, wash hands and face, change clothes, and then wash your own hands before scooping them into this big, warm hug.
Make sure the vaccinations are up to date
Routine vaccinations are the safest and most effective way to protect babies and children from diseases.
If you are breastfeeding
Breast milk contains many ingredients to prevent and fight infections. It is recommended that babies up to the age of six months only receive breast milk and breastfeed with other foods until the age of two.
If your baby is younger than six months and breastfeeding, it protects the supply of breast milk only from a number of infections and reduces the need for medical treatment or hospitalization.
If your baby is breastfeeding and using formula, consider replacing formula feed with breastfeeding.
If you have stopped breastfeeding completely, you can start breastfeeding again if necessary (contact the national breastfeeding helpline for assistance).
If you have an older baby or toddler who is still breastfeeding, breastfeeding can help protect them from other diseases until the coronavirus pandemic is over.
If you use formula
It is easy to accidentally introduce germs in bottles while you are preparing baby food. Because medical care may be difficult to access, it is worth taking extra care to prevent this from happening.
Be especially careful when preparing bottles. This means that you always wash your hands thoroughly with soap, wash the bottles thoroughly, sterilize them after each use, and assemble the formula with hot water.
Make sure to cool the bottle in the fridge, shake it gently, and make sure it’s not too hot before giving it to your baby.
Buy supplies like diapers
Supply chains can be broken when many people get sick. And you may not be able to shop if you need to isolate yourself at home.
It is recommended that you have two to three weeks’ worth of supplies at home to prepare for this possibility. Consider stocking yourself with diapers for this time or having washable (cloth) diapers on hand.
If you feed the formula, buy enough baby food for three weeks, but check the expiration dates.
What if mother is infected with the corona virus?
Mothers are at higher risk of developing the coronavirus than their babies.
And if you are breastfeeding and infected, it is recommended that you continue breastfeeding. This is because the virus was not found in breast milk.
Wearing a mask when you are with your baby (including while feeding), washing hands before and after contact with your baby, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and feeding equipment will prevent your baby from catching the virus.
When you are hospitalized or separated from your baby, you can express breast milk for the baby.
Remember to protect grandparents
If you or your partner get sick, someone else may need to help care for the baby or other children.
Babies like to share their saliva with their caregivers and may be infected with the coronavirus but have no symptoms. In this way, they can easily transmit the infection to the people who take care of them.
Many parents ask grandparents to help with childcare. Unfortunately, people over 60 are most likely to be critically ill or to die from the coronavirus.
If your standby supervisors are over 60 years old, now is the time to consider alternative childcare arrangements.
Talk to grandparents about how they can reduce the risk of infection if they need to take care of the baby.
Karleen Gribble, associate professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University and Nina Jane Chad, research associate at the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.
This article is republished by The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.