NeoIPC celebrates International Kangaroo Care Day by launching new video for parents

May 15, 2024

Today marks International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day – an important day dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of skin-to-skin contact on newborns, especially those born prematurely.

Prematurity is a significant global public health issue and is currently the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5. Every year, around 1 in 10 babies are born preterm and require special care in hospitals. This accounts for around 400,000 newborns in Europe alone.

For these vulnerable babies, the World Health Organization recommends kangaroo care, which is a simple and low-cost practice involving prolonged skin-to-skin contact between the baby and their caregiver.

Research has shown that kangaroo care brings many benefits to both newborns and caregivers. Kangaroo care not only helps in building a strong bond between them, but also helps in protecting the baby against infections by transferring healthy bacteria from caregiver to baby, thus aiding the baby’s immune system to develop.

To celebrate International Kangaroo Care Day, the NeoIPC Consortium has launched a new educational video on kangaroo care. This video is intended for parents, future parents, and caregivers. It explains what kangaroo care is, discusses its benefits, and shows how to practice it safely with the support of NICU staff, so that more babies can benefit from this essential practice.

The video is also available in Spanish, Italian, German and will soon be released in French and Greek. It is the first in a series of educational videos for parents and healthcare professionals produced by the NeoIPC Consortium, aiming to improve knowledge of infection prevention and control practices in the neonatal care setting.

At the heart of NeoIPC’s mission is the improvement of health outcomes and care practices for newborns in hospital settings. Moving forward, NeoIPC will conduct a study to assess how optimised kangaroo care can reduce the incidence of infections, sepsis, and the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in NICUs among preterm and low birth weight infants.