Bringing a new baby home from the hospital is nerve-wracking at the best of times, and COVID-19 has added a whole new level of anxiety for parents of pandemic babies. Fears have swirled as parents wonder how badly their newborns would be affected if they got COVID and how to keep babies who are too young to be vaccinated safe from the virus. Luckily, researchers have some good news that’s sure to put concerned parents at ease.
A new study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that newborns aren’t infected with COVID-19 as often as people think. Out of the 1 million newborns sampled across 109 different US health system databases, only 918 newborns were diagnosed with COVID-19, which is about 0.1% of the sample group. Just by this stat alone, the chance of your newborn catching the virus is miniscule.
But you might still feel anxious. What if my baby is unlucky enough to be in that 0.1%? While this is a valid concern, the report showed that only 71 of those infected had a severe case of COVID. All of these babies received sufficient respiratory support and 66 of them were safely discharged and made a full recovery. This amounts to a 93% recovery rate even with a severe infection, which is really comforting. The rest of those infected had mild cases or were completely asymptomatic, ultimately recovering on their own.
So there you have it, some good COVID news (finally!). This doesn’t mean it’s time to totally let your guard down, it’s still in our best interest to maintain some of the COVID safeguards we adopted like hand-washing, getting vaccinated and masking in very busy public places. But you can breathe a sweet sigh of relief knowing that your newborn isn’t likely to be severely affected by COVID, if at all. Phew.