Q. We have a newborn, and he is too young to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine as well as the first does of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Given all the reports about measles, what can we do to protect him from vaccine-preventable diseases?
A. Unfortunately, when our babies are too young to be vaccinated, our best recourse is to keep them away from situations in which they may be exposed to infectious diseases — and even our best attempts are not always sufficient. When we go to work or have young children in school, diseases may come home. However, here are few tips to help avoid spreading illness to your newborn:
- Limit visitors, especially if someone is ill.
- Limit outings for the baby, especially to places with large crowds.
- Promote proper and frequent hand washing.
- Cover coughs correctly. Cough or sneeze into your elbow and not your hands and teach young siblings to do the same.
- Rinse baby’s hands with gentle baby soap and lukewarm water after an outing or being exposed to visitors.
- Discourage others from kissing your baby on the face or hands.