Helping to Prevent Infection
- Wash Your Hands
Hand washing is the No. 1 way to prevent infection. Avagard™is a hand sanitizer that is kept at your baby’s bedside. Wash your hands or use Avagard if you touch your face, hair, glasses, cell phone, chair, etc. before you touch your baby again.
- Do Not Wear Jewelry
All types of jewelry carry germs, so please do not wear rings, watches, bracelets when touching or holding your infant.
- Be an Advocate for Your Baby
As the parent you are your baby’s advocate. Monitor all staff and physicians who are approaching your baby’s bedside; if you don’t see the person wash their hands or use Avagard™ ask, "Would you like to wash your hands or use Avagard™?"
- Do Kangaroo Care
Kangaroo Care has many important benefits for your baby. For example, it decreases the stress hormone, cortisol. When this hormone is low, your baby is less likely to get an infection. Please see the section in your baby's NICU Handbook for more details on Kangaroo Care.
- Breastfeed Your Baby
Breast milk has many important benefits for your baby. For example, when you breastfeed your body produces antibodies that go into the breast milk to help your baby prevent infection. These antibodies are not available for babies who receive formula. Please see the section in your baby's NICU Handbook for more information on breastfeeding.
- Talk to Your Baby’s Physician If You Are Ill
Your baby’s physician can help determine the best way to interact with your baby without getting him/her sick.
- Make Sure Visitors Are Not Ill
Check with grandparents, siblings or other visitors to make sure they are free of any contagious diseases and symptoms (such as cold sores, shingles, elevated temperature, cough, runny noses, rash, vomiting and diarrhea).
- Be Aware or Clean and Dirty Areas Around Your Baby’s Bedside
There are clean and dirty areas in and around your baby’s bed-space. Ask your baby’s nurse where these are and keep clean items in the clean areas and dirty items in the dirty areas.