A hospital in Thailand is supplying babies with tiny face shields to protect them from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The masks are designed to stop any droplets with the virus from coughs or sneezes from reaching the baby’s face.

In a statement to Time, the Pramam 9 Hospital in Bangkok explains that babies do not wear the masks all the time and were designed for when the newborns need to be taken home in a taxi or via public transport.

“The face shields were just for a short-term protection,” said the statement. “The nurses worried about the babies’ well-being and they handcrafted the face shields.”

The hospital adds that it does not have any pediatric cases of COVID-19.

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The images went viral over the weekend and as cute as they are, it’s heartbreaking they are deemed necessary at all.

“This is sad. And also? The cutest thing ever,” actress Busy Philips wrote, sharing the image to Twitter.

Health guidelines state children below the age of two should not wear masks because there is a higher risk of choking, strangulation, and suffocation.

Judy Schaecter, MD, the chair of the University of Miami Health System Pediatric Department says, “It is harder to breathe through a mask, especially for little ones who have little airways.”

 

Cougar Town actress Busy Phillips shared this image to her Twitter followers.

Unlike masks, these temporary shields allow babies to breathe without obstruction. In a Facebook post the hospital reiterated that the shields were for a “unique case” just for the babies’ journey home from the hospital and are not usually given to all newborn babies in the hospital.

“Because safety is what we care about the highest,” the post said.

Should you or your children wear a mask?
In Australia face masks are currently not recommended for the general public. They are only recommended if you have a cough that you could transmit, or are taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.

Howerver, Australia’s deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly says that authorities are “actively looking” into whether to advise the general public to wear face masks while outdoors, but that so far they haven’t changed their current recommendation.

How can parents best protect their family?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus COVID-19. The best protection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

You can keep your family healthy and help prevent illness by:

  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, especially before eating or touching your face. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep your kids away from others who are sick or keep them home if they are ill.
  • If you are sick, avoiding contact with others and staying more than 1.5 metres away from people
  • Try to stop children from touching their mouth, eyes and nose.
  • Teach children to cough and sneeze into their arm or elbow, not their hands.
  • When using a tissue, throw it away immediately after use and wash hands.
  • Clean and disinfect household objects and surfaces in your home.

If you have a confirmed case, you need to self-quarantine to prevent it spreading to other people.