Caring for Babies with Coronavirus

Coronavirus continues to sound alarms around the world. Here, we'll tell you what you need to know about the care of babies with coronavirus.
Caring for Babies with Coronavirus

Last update: 27 May, 2020

COVID-19 is the virus that’s setting off alarms and that has interrupted normal life in many countries. Thousands of cases have been confirmed around the world. With this in mind, in today’s article, we’ll share some general information and measures to follow in the case of babies with coronavirus.

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that usually affects animals. Within this family, there are many different types. Some of them can mutate and end up affecting humans as well.

This is what occurred with the strain SARS-CoV-2. The current coronavirus strain was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December of 2019. Since then, given the ease with which it spreads, the number of cases throughout the world has increased drastically.

What symptoms does the virus produce?

For most infected individuals, coronavirus manifests as an asymptomatic infection. In other words, the majority of people don’t present any symptoms that indicate that they are stick. Most often, especially in children and babies, the virus produces mild and nonspecific symptoms, such as a common cough.

Caring for Babies with Coronavirus
Source: New Zealand Government

When coronavirus does produce symptoms, they generally include a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath. It can also produce muscle pain, fatigue, and overall discomfort.

However, this isn’t always the case. In a minority of cases, this virus can produce pneumonia and even death due to respiratory failure. This situation occurs most often among vulnerable populations including the elderly and people with a suppressed immune system.

How does COVID-19 spread from one person to another?

The spread of this virus from person to person occurs through tiny particles that travel in the air. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they release these particles, which can travel between 3 and 6 feet. Even infected individuals who aren’t showing any symptoms can spread the disease.

These particles can remain on objects of daily use, including tables, doorknobs, silverware, etc. Or they can fall directly on someone. When a person that isn’t infected touches a contaminated object and then touches his or her nose, mouth, or eyes, the virus can enter his or her body.

Babies with coronavirus: What to do?

Small babies have yet to develop a completely mature immune system. Therefore, we need to be especially careful and vigilant of our little ones.

How to diagnose coronavirus in babies?

Just like adults, when doctors suspect coronavirus infection in babies, they will conduct an analysis of nasal and throat secretions. Your child’s doctor will decide whether or not testing is necessary, depending on whether your baby’s symptoms meet certain criteria.

Caring for Babies with Coronavirus

What happens if my baby tests positive for coronavirus?

Once tests have confirmed the presence of coronavirus, two situations can occur:

  1. A baby that tests positive and is asymptomatic. In this case, your baby will be admitted to the hospital and remain in an isolation room under observation. Breastfeeding will have to cease. Only a healthy family member will be able to visit the baby, using proper protection in order to prevent contagion.
    • The baby will receive continuous monitoring of vital signs. Also, specialists will take X-rays of the baby’s thorax in order to observe the evolution of the infection. Doctors will be on the constant lookout for complications.
  2. A baby that tests positive has symptoms. Here, the procedure is the same as with adults. The child will receive fever-reducing medication and support measures, like hydration, according to the doses indicated for his or her age and weight. What’s more, if the baby is very small, specialists will evaluate the function of his or her liver, kidney, and heart.

How long must babies with coronavirus stay in the hospital?

Babies that are doing well can go home once they test negative on two separate tests in over 24 hours. What’s more, they must be free of fever for at least three days. Finally, babies must show improvement in regards to their chest X-rays.

Therefore, when it comes to caring for babies with coronavirus…

It’s important to understand that the information we have right now demonstrates that coronavirus is milder in babies and small children than in the rest of the population. Therefore, it’s important that you remain calm.

Now you know what to do if your baby displays any symptoms compatible with coronavirus infection. Above all else, as always, follow the instructions and recommendations that specialists have provided.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.