By Mayo Clinic StaffPosted May 04, 2018 12:35AMBASEL, Fla.
— A newborn baby can be exposed to toxins and viruses that can harm a child, even if he or she has been vaccinated, according to a study released Monday.
“The safety of the environment for the baby is not only a concern, but it also is a responsibility,” said Dr. Jennifer Caudill, chief of pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic and lead author of the new study.
“If you have a baby who is not vaccinated, that means the baby has a risk for exposure to viruses and bacteria, and that can be very harmful.”
The study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, also found that a mother’s health and that of her newborn infant are significantly affected by the health of the home environment.
Caudill said her group will continue to explore ways to minimize the risk of exposure to toxins, including by ensuring that the mother has the necessary supplies.
“If we do not have the right supplies and the right ventilation in the home, then we have a much greater risk of potentially toxic substances getting into the home,” she said.
“That’s why you need to have a vaccination program, and we want to have as many vaccines as possible as quickly as possible.”
Caudell said that even with a vaccination, there is a greater risk for infections if there are still infections after vaccination.
“In a home environment, the chances are pretty good that you will be exposed for any number of reasons,” she explained.
“So a baby’s first exposure to something that could be harmful is the mother or baby, and the second exposure to toxic substances is the baby’s mother or the child.”
Cautious parents should also consider if there is another risk to their child in the household, including if there was an injury or illness in the child’s household.
“This study provides us with an opportunity to look at what the risk is in terms of how many people are exposed, and how many are exposed to toxic chemicals, and what the exposure levels are in terms to how many toxins there are in the air,” she added.
Catching the flu in a beachy location is a good idea, but only if the baby isn’t vaccinated, Caudell noted.
“We need to be very cautious,” she told ABC News.
“Because a baby is going to be in a water tank, and if you’re getting in the water, you’re going to get exposed to chemicals and viruses.
You have to be careful that your baby is vaccinated and that they’re taking a good care of the water.
That’s one of the things that really helps the mother’s immunity.”
The Mayo Clinic is offering the vaccine to pregnant women at a cost of about $5, which will be shared equally among mothers and their babies.
It’s available for women of any age and for anyone who wants to get vaccinated.