A Pediatrician at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Ahor-Essel has cautioned parents to stop exposing babies with neonatal jaundice to the early morning sun as treatment for the condition.
Neonatal jaundice is a liver condition that causes the yellowing of a newborn baby’s skin and eyes due to the excess bilirubin (a yellow pigment of red blood cells) in the baby’s blood.
Dr. Ahor-Essel explained that contrary to the call of some medical practitioners to expose babies to the early morning sun due to the presence of vitamin D, the adverse effect on the body outweighs the advantages.
“It is unfortunate some health professionals advise parents to expose their babies to early morning sun whilst we’re trying to stop it. It is not the best thing to do because it exposes babies to harmful radiation,” he stated.
Speaking with Roselyn Felli on the Prime Morning Show, on Tuesday, he said the radiation from the sun is capable of penetrating the skin to cause more harm.
He added that this explains why phototherapy is not mostly used for babies as it can cause gene mutations leading to other health conditions.
Adding his voice to the creation of awareness on neonatal jaundice, the Pediatrician advised pregnant women to feed themselves well to nourish the unborn baby and practice proper breastfeeding after delivery, because it boosts the immune system of babies against neonatal jaundice.
In concluding, he stated that people need to stop adhering to misconceptions about newborn babies and seek medical care for early detection and treatment of the condition.