Does your newborn seem to catch a new cold every month? Are you struggling to keep the sniffles away? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent study conducted by University of Michigan Health System has discovered a major cause for infant illness sensitivity:
“What happens at early age is that natural killer cells, like many other immune cells, do not complete their functional maturation until adulthood,” says study senior author Yasmina Laouar, Ph.D., assistant professor in the U-M Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
”During this time we are left with an immature immune system that cannot protect us against infections, the reason why newborns and infants are more prone to infection,” she says.
Steps for Maintaining Newborn Health
While it’s impossible to avoid all germs, parents can take proactive steps to maintain newborn health, starting with choosing the right pediatric clinic. For instance, does your chosen pediatric clinic have “well” and “sick” child waiting areas? It’s important to separate the sick from the well at any age, but it’s even more essential when, for example, we have newborns coming for routine exams during the flu season.
Taking such factors into consideration could make a big difference in lowering your newborn’s risk of catching life-threatening illnesses. Here’s some more tips for ensuring that your newborn stay as germ-free as possible:
- Avoid contact with sick relatives and friends
- Make sure family members wash their hands for 20 seconds before touching the infant
- Limit the frequency of kisses on the face
- Avoid grocery stores, restaurants, malls, festivals and other large crowds for the first few weeks
- Don’t skip out on vaccinations
- Keep up with scheduled doctor’s appointments
- Sterilize bottles, nipples, and nose bulbs
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