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Newborn and Infant Care

Newborn and other children

10/04/2004

Question:

My question is: Is it advisable to keep well children who do not live in the household away from a newborn baby for a specific period of time (6 weeks) because children can carry germs and transfer them to the newborn easily?

Answer:

At birth the newborn is able resist some infections because of the immunity he has received from the mother. However the period of resistance varies based on the newborn's age, and what he is exposed to. Also the normal newborn is also able to produce antibodies to fight some bacteria; however it is not as effective as an older child or an adult. In general healthy children can be allowed around a health a baby, after they have washed their hands, but should avoid extremely close contact.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati