Tips to protect your newborn (and yourself)
While health officials say children are less vulnerable to COVID-19, they are still getting the virus, and can spread it to others. Dena Hubbard, MD, a pediatric neonatologist at Truman Medical Centers/University Health, says she gives all new parents the same tips, whether their baby is going home from the well-baby nursery or the neonatal intensive care unit.
“Hand hygiene is your number one best protection,” Dr. Hubbard says. That means frequently washing your hands with soap and water, and for the recommended 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand santizer with an alcohol content of at least 60%.
Dr. Hubbard also tells parents to avoid people who are sick, and make sure all close contacts are up to date on their vaccines. Dr. Hubbard also reminds parents to monitor for fevers. Fevers are a symptom of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Teach kids to cough and sneeze into a tissue, arm, or elbow, not into their hands, and to avoid touching their face. Dr. Hubbard also reminds us to follow your doctor’s medical recommendations and any from the local health departments. “We have to think of others, not just ourselves during pandemics like this.” Currently, it is critical to reduce close contact with others by practicing social distancing.
Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, now is the time to stay home and avoid places where close contact with others is likely. This includes playdates and sleepovers, any gatherings of more than 10 people, shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, even church gatherings. You are still at risk of transmitting COVID-19 with or without symptoms, and your actions can increase the risk for others. We need everyone, despite their personal risk, to follow the recommendations of the CDC and public health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19 to help those that are at highest risk. We are all responsible for protecting those at higher risk and social distancing only works if we all participate.
Think of others, consider your actions, and be kind.
A Doctor’s Advice on Monitoring Your Symptoms While Self-Isolating
Gary Salzman, MD, a critical care pulmonologist at TMC/UH has some tips on how to
According to Dr. Salzman, “you should have a thermometer at home and take your temperature. Temperatures of 100.4° or over are concerning. Also, if you are having trouble breathing.”
If you have a routine cough, no fever and no shortness of breath, Dr. Salzman says there probably isn’t any reason to be concerned.
Dr. Salzman says a lot of people have been calling in with their worries. So, what can you expect if you do call? “We’re going to ask you about your symptoms,” Dr. Salzman says.
If your symptoms become severe enough that you feel you need to come in, Salzman advises you to call first. “We want to be ready for you,” he says.
Truman Medical Centers has created a dedicated COVID-19 call center for these calls. Please call 816-404-CARE.