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‘Infant Cocooning’ Growing In Popularity Among New Parents

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – When you’re around a new baby, it’s a good idea to wash your hands and make sure you’re not passing along germs.

But as CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported, more and more parents are “infant cocooning,” which means being vaccinated before seeing the baby.

Angela Keysor and Brian Miller have a baby on the way, and they were not taking any chances when she arrives.

“We are going to request that family members vaccinate before they see her,” father-to-be Brian said.

It’s a safety precaution that’s becoming more popular—and it’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Hsu reported.

“Infant cocooning is immunizing all the people around the kid. It is an attempt to protect the youngest infants from various types of infectious disease,” Dr. Dennis Murray said.

Angela and Brian are asking family members to get diphtheria, influenza and pertussis shots if they plan on visiting the new baby.

The biggest push is to get vaccinated against pertussis, or whooping cough, since most babies can’t be vaccinated until they’re 2 months old, CBS 2 reported.

Dr. Ari Brown said infant cocooning is a good idea, especially with the rise in cases of whooping cough in the United States.

“A baby under 6 months of age is more likely to be hospitalized or die from whooping cough infection as opposed to a 2-year-old or 12-year-old who gets ill and has a bad cough,” Dr. Brown said.

But some parents say “infant cocooning” it’s too much.

“I think it’s a little out of control,” mother Jennifer Kunstman said.

Mary Lou Oprondek has 11 grandchildren and her daughter-in-law tried cocooning the latest one.

“She said, ‘You know they recommend that the grandparents and the caregivers get shots,’ and I just said, ‘I don’t think so’, and she let me babysit anyway,” Oprondek said.

Brian and Angela say they plan to stick with it and will tell family no vaccine means no visit.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is also suggesting child care workers be vaccinated as well.

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