How can I keep my newborn safe?

Good hygiene (handwashing) and social distancing are the most effective ways to keep your infant safe from communicable diseases such as COVID-19. All caregivers should be reminded to wash hands thoroughly before touching bottles and other feeding supplies, and before feeding or caring for an infant or child. Continuing to follow all public health recommendations, lining up a symptom-free support person to help drop off supplies, and connecting with friends and family virtually (phone, text, FaceTime, social media) will limit the exposure of the virus/disease to you and your family. While screen time is typically not recommended for infants, connecting to loved ones via video chatting such as FaceTime is considered safe in limited amounts.

Ways of keeping your children safe:
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when handwashing is unavailable.
• Reduce close contact with others by practicing social distancing. Limit public exposure and avoid unnecessary public contact.
• If going out with the child is essential:
o Cover the infant carrier (NOT THE INFANT) with a light-weight blanket, which helps protect the baby, but still gives them the ability to breathe comfortably.
o Make the trip and time of coverage as brief as possible.
o Do not leave the blanket on the carrier in the car or at any time when the baby and carrier are not in direct view by an adult caregiver.
o Children only over the age of 2 should wear a mask or cloth face covering. KDHE recommends wearing a mask that fits snuggly around the nose, mouth and chin and has multiple layers of fabric. Alternatively, a thinner disposable mask may be worn underneath a cloth face mask to improve the fit. Visit KDHE’s Mask Guidance for more information.
• Keep your children away from others who are sick and keep them home if they are sick.
• Teach kids to cough and sneeze into a tissue or their arm or elbow, not their hands.
• Clean commonly used surfaces regularly with disinfectant. Clean commonly touched surfaces (e.g., countertops, tables, doorknobs) regularly with disinfectant.
• Wash stuffed animals or other plush toys in the warmest water possible, being sure to dry them completely.
• Teach children to avoid touching face.
• Follow local and state guidance on travel and stay-at-home restrictions.

Updated: March 10, 2021

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1. Are pregnant women at greater risk of contracting COVID-19?
2. Can COVID-19 cause problems for a pregnancy or be passed on to the unborn baby?
3. Is it safe to breastfeed my baby?
4. How can I protect myself and my family from contracting COVID-19?
5. When should I contact my medical provider?
6. Should I still go to my prenatal and postpartum appointments?
7. How will this outbreak affect my delivery experience?
8. If I have Medicaid or KanCare coverage for my pregnancy, how will it be affected by this pandemic?
9. How can I keep my newborn safe?
10. Should I take my baby/child to his/her regularly scheduled well-child appointments?
11. What extra precautions can I take to protect my baby if I have, or am suspected of having, COVID-19?
12. What symptoms should I be watching for in my baby?
13. Should I continue to receive other health and support services?
14. How else can I help keep my baby safe?
15. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe and recommended for pregnant and lactating women?