A newborn baby's immune system is not fully developed and they need extra protection from germs that could cause illness and infection. Simple hygiene measures can offer protection to newborns.
One of the effective ways to help stop the spread of germs and protect babies and young children from infection is to wash the hands regularly with soap and clean running water.
Hands should always be washed:
Before breastfeeding or preparing formula milk
Before and after preparing food
After changing a nappy or going to the toilet
After coming into contact with blood or body fluid (faeces, urine, vomit or saliva)
After touching a potentially contaminated item or surface (cleaning cloth, used tissue, nappy/diaper, potty, waste bin)
Before cuddling or a handling baby
Whenever your hands look dirty
If soap and clean water are not readily available, an alcohol based hand sanitiser should be used. However, if the hands are dirty, they should always be washed. Use of hand sanitisers by children should be under adult supervision.