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Winter illness checklist for new parents

A checklist for parents to keep newborn babies healthy this winter has been drawn up.

It inlcudes tips to help parents avoid illnesses, such as influenza, pneumonia and respiratory syncytial virus.

The WINTER checklist is the result of a partnership between pharmaceutical company AbbVie, the premature and sick babies charity Bliss, and the Twins and Multiple Births Association.

Andy Cole, chief executive of Bliss, said: “It’s important to ensure parents of premature babies are well informed about common winter illnesses and the practical steps that they can take to reduce the chances of their babies getting an infection, particularly during the winter months.

“Coughs, colds and sniffles affect all babies, however babies born prematurely are at greater risk.”

The checklist is:

  • W – Wash hands regularly with soap and water – especially before you touch your baby
  • I – Immunisations may be given to babies and children to build their immunity against certain illnesses including winter-related illnesses such as influenza, pneumonia, RSV
  • N – No smoking – ensure your baby is kept away from tobacco smoke
  • T – Tissues are better than hands for catching sneezes and coughs
  • E – Examine your baby for signs of winter illness such as runny or blocked nose, cough, sneezing and rapid breathing
  • R – Rest and recover – help your baby by making sure he/she has plenty to drink and gets enough sleep

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