Adult allergies and newborn contact


Q: My brother just had his first baby and it is the first grandson to my parents. My mother has had a history of bad allergies and constantly has a stuffy nose and a pack of tissues in her purse. She recently went to the doctor and the doctor signed a note stating that she has no infectious ailments to his knowledge after examination. My brother and sister-in-law have never let my mother hold or visit the baby in any manner. Is this reasonable in any way, and is there any risk to my mother merely visiting and holding this several week old baby?


A:   I understand your concern about your mother’s condition and the health of the newborn. Let me reassure you that allergies is not a contagious condition, it is response from the immune system to certain allergen that are found in the environment. Your brother should not to worry about transmission of an upper respiratory infection either viral or bacterial, your mother would just need to cover her sneeze with her elbow and when handling the baby washing the hands not only her but everybody would help decreasing the chances of viral transmission. I hope I cleared your doubt.

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