Newborns and COVID-19
Updated: Jan 19, 2021
American Idol star Casey ‘Quigley’ Goode posted on her Instagram that her two-week old son had tested positive for COVID-19.
From Casey’s Instagram:
“Max tested positive for COVID-19 early Saturday am. We took him into the ER after he was running a fever in the middle of the night. We had confirmation that he was exposed from direct contact with a medical professional who had cared for him earlier in the week. This has been a total shock to us. I am currently quarantining with baby Max in the PICU. They are treating me as if I have been exposed and are likely positive as well, although I am showing no symptoms yet. Please send good energy to our little bub so he recovers fast. Not sure what happens next from here... but I expect to be offline for a while as we recover. ❤️ Love, Quigs”
Goode’s story is not an isolated incident. According to an article on Scary Mommy blog, in one county in Texas, 85 babies under the age of one tested positive for COVID-19 since March. In August, in Los Angeles County, eight babies who were tested at birth were determined to be COVID-19 positive.
Information about COVID-19 and the way it effects children has been largely downplayed since the beginning of the pandemic. However, as more information comes out, we are learning how newborns and older children differ in their responses to this novel virus. Children and newborns can both be ill from and transmit the virus. According to Johns Hopkins, children under the age of two are more likely to require hospital care while ill. Researchers are still working on theories as to why newborns and children seem to have different immune responses. Perhaps it is their smaller airways, or perhaps because newborns have a more immature immune response.
Symptoms of Covid-19 in Newborns:
According to the Mayo Clinic, in most cases, the symptoms of COVID-19 in babies may include:
Nasal congestion or runny nose
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Nausea or vomiting
Poor feeding or poor appetite
Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
While most cases are mild, a June study from the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that 10% of infants who tested positive became very ill.
New moms and dads can use this information to make more informed decisions about visitors before and after the birth of their newborns. Although we always recommend limited visitation for newborns, it seems this pandemic has only strengthened that recommendation. Be conscientious of the number of visitors allowed in your home, make visitors practice social distancing and hand washing or sanitizing, wear a mask, and use technology to do more virtual visits.
Our little newborns and babies do not have the ability to speak up, so it is our job to protect them!
As always- like, comment, and share!
Jeri Ford, RN, BSN, CPN