Non-Invasive: Phototherapy is a non-invasive treatment, meaning it doesn’t require any needles or invasive procedures. The baby simply wears the mask, and the treatment takes place externally without the need for medical interventions.
Flexibility: Phototherapy masks come in various designs and sizes to accommodate the unique needs of different infants.
Minimal Discomfort: Infant phototherapy masks are designed to be gentle and comfortable. They are typically made from soft, hypoallergenic materials to minimize irritation or discomfort for the baby, allowing them to rest and sleep comfortably during treatment.
Protection for Eyes: One of the most critical benefits of these masks is that they shield the baby’s eyes from the bright phototherapy lights. Prolonged exposure to these lights can harm a newborn’s eyes, so the masks provide essential eye protection.
Shorter Hospital Stays: Effective phototherapy treatment can lead to a faster reduction in bilirubin levels, potentially reducing the length of hospital stays for newborns with jaundice.
There are several important precautions and considerations to ensure the safety and well-being of the
infant during phototherapy treatment:
• Eye Protection: One of the primary precautions is the protection of the baby’s eyes from the bright phototherapy lights. Prolonged exposure to these lights can be harmful to the infant’s eyes. Therefore, it is essential to use eye shields or specially designed phototherapy masks to cover the baby’s eyes during treatment.
• Temperature Regulation: Infants undergoing phototherapy can become overheated because of the heat generated by the phototherapy lights. It’s crucial to monitor the baby’s temperature regularly and ensure they are not too warm. Adjust the room temperature and clothing as needed to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
• Hydration: Phototherapy can increase the risk of dehydration in newborns due to increased insensible water loss through the skin. Healthcare providers should closely monitor the baby’s hydration status and provide fluids as necessary through breastfeeding or intravenous (IV) fluids.
• Skin Care: Prolonged exposure to phototherapy lights can sometimes cause mild skin changes, such as dryness or a rash. To minimize these effects, caregivers should keep the baby’s skin clean and moisturized using products recommended by healthcare professionals.
• Parental Involvement: Parents should be encouraged to be involved in the care of their baby during phototherapy, as this promotes bonding and comfort for the infant. Parents can hold and soothe the baby whenever it is safe to do so, even while the baby is under the lights.
• Follow-Up Care: After phototherapy is completed, babies should receive appropriate follow-up care to monitor bilirubin levels and ensure that jaundice does not return. Some infants may require additional treatment or monitoring after leaving the hospital.
• Medical Oversight: Phototherapy should only be administered by trained healthcare professionals in a clinical setting, such as a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or a well equipped nursery. Proper supervision and oversight are essential to ensure the baby’s safety.