Protecting babies and infants during the pandemic


​A message from Drs. Unjali Malhotra and Nel Wieman, FNHA Office of the Chief Medical Officer; and Barb Webster, FNHA Clinical Nurse Specialist, Maternal Child Health

Babies are a precious gift. As a parent, worrying about your new baby is normal. Everything is so different now! During a pandemic, your concerns about your baby's safety will likely be heightened. 


The most effective things you can do to protect yourself and your baby include:

 Wash your (and their) hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your face 

 Avoid people who are sick 

 Stay home as much as possible and limit contact with other people

 Practice social distancing by staying two metres (six feet) away from others

 Take care of your personal wellness

Here are a few tips to keep yourself and your baby and infant physically and mentally well:

 Clean toys, surfaces and play areas frequently. Regular household cleaners are effective for removing germs or you can use a solution of one part bleach mixed with nine parts water. 

 Avoid soothers if possible. If you are using a soother, clean it regularly with soap and water. 

 Remember that baby wipes are not meant to be used to clean away germs! Be sure to use soap and water. 

 Reach out to friends and family regularly via video chat if you can. Being a new mom can be isolating even without a pandemic. Virtual support is the next best thing to connecting in person.

 If you feel really down or if you are so worried that it feels difficult to cope, please call Indigenous Patient Liaisons at 604-875-2348 if you delivered your baby at BC Women's Hospital. If not, call your health care provider. For more information please visit the following links: 

 Health Link BC:  Resources and Information about Postpartum Depression 

 BC Women's Hospital: Information about Postpartum Depression including Myths and Facts 

Newborns and COVID-19:

Children and adults may have different symptoms when they are COVID-19 positive. If your newborn is showing changes (rash, fever, respiratory symptoms, vomiting or diarrhea) or if you are unsure about the health of your baby due to a change in feeding patterns or behaviour, call 811 (not 911). You can also call 1-888-COVID-19 (1-888-268-4319) or text 604-630-0300 between 7:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. seven days a week. 

If go to the hospital, you will likely notice some changes intended to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. Likely only one adult will be allowed to accompany a child in outpatient and ER settings; 1-2 adults for inpatient settings.

Take babies and infants to the emergency department if they: 

 Are having trouble breathing

 Have blue lips or skin or appear pale

 Are coughing or vomiting excessively (especially with a fever and/or blood in the vomit)

 Have diarrhea and/or vomiting and are dehydrated (no tears or urination for several hours)

 Have a high fever not relieved by Tylenol 

 Are lethargic 

 Are under three months of age and have fever

Also important:

 Get your newborn vaccinated for what you can, and be sure to see or talk to your health care provider after you're released from the hospital.

 If your child has an underlying medical condition like asthma, where they may be more prone to respiratory tract infections or an immune deficiency of any kind,  please seek care early and try to have a two-week supply of their routine medications on hand. 

 ​This information is referenced from BC Children's Hospital. For more information and resources, please see their website at this link.

Skip Navigation>About>News and Events>News>Protecting babies and infants during the pandemic