Can Babies Get COVID-19?


Yes. Children of all ages can get infected with COVID-19, including newborns, infants, toddlers, and older children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Most newborns who tested positive for COVID-19 had mild or no symptoms and recovered.”

Nevertheless, there are reports of newborns with severe COVID-19 illness, and scientists still have a lot to learn about the risks of COVID-19 for newborns. Additionally, doctors cannot tell whether a newborn was infected before, during, or after birth.

Can I Give COVID-19 to My Baby?

If you have COVID-19, the chances of you passing the virus to your baby are low – especially if you wear a mask, wash your hands, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Breast milk is not likely to spread the virus to babies, either.

Per the CDC, you can care for your baby if you are well enough or recruit a healthy caregiver to help you. Both you and any healthy caregivers you recruit should wash their hands with soap and water before and after touching your child and wear a mask around your child.

**Please note that children under 2 years old should not wear masks because they could suffocate or choke on strings or elastic bands.

What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19 in Newborns?

Contact a medical professional if your newborn shows any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or another illness.

The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in newborns include:

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Lethargy (being overly tired or inactive)
  • Poor feeding
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble breathing (labored or shallow breathing)
  • Fever

In an infant, a temperature of 100.4 or more is considered an emergency. If in doubt, seek immediate medical attention or call 911.

Pregnancy and the Pandemic

The biggest risk for babies during the COVID-19 pandemic is premature delivery. Pregnant women who get COVID-19 have a higher risk of preterm birth, and babies born before 37 weeks or born underweight are susceptible to disabilities, developmental delays, infections, and other prematurity-related complications.

Can Pregnant Women Get the Vaccine?

Yes. As NPR explains, “OB-GYNs, midwives and infectious disease experts encourage anyone who's pregnant to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.”

If you get vaccinated while pregnant, you cannot only protect yourself from severe illness but also help your unborn child generate antibodies that will protect them after birth.

For more information about getting vaccinated before, during, and after pregnancy, please visit the Pregnancy and Vaccination section of the CDC website.

Should Doctors Recommend Vaccines During Pregnancy?

Yes. Healthcare professionals should recommend COVID-19 vaccines – and other vaccines – during and after pregnancy to keep both mother and child safe. If your doctor fails to recommend a lifesaving vaccine or issue a vaccine upon your request, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Although litigation surrounding COVID-19, vaccinating pregnant women and new mothers has been part of the standard of care for some time, so if you or your child has been severely harmed because of a doctor’s anti-vaccination attitude, you should talk to an attorney.

David Kates has been handling a wide variety of medical malpractice lawsuits and birth injury claims for more than 20 years. He brings a tenacious and thorough approach to understanding complex medical issues, and he is ready to help you.

For personalized attention from beginning to end, please call our firm at (718) 866-3664 or contact us online.