Do pediatricians recommend not to take a newborn with jaundice outside on fresh air?

Are there any resources on this subject?

  • 1
    I'm curious why they couldn't. Have you been told they shouldn't?
    – Drew
    Jan 18, 2016 at 15:56
  • Yes. My wife told me that three pediatrician told her that our baby can't go out on fresh air for at least 3 weeks because he had mild jaundice. Does this make any sense? Jan 18, 2016 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


Newborn jaundice is caused by accumulation of bilirubin (hyperbilirubinaemia) due (usually) to breakdown of fetal haemoglobin.

From a Cochrane article by Horn et al: Sunlight for the prevention and treatment of hyperbilirubinemia in term and late preterm neonates

Sunlight may be an effective adjunct to conventional phototherapy in LMIC settings, may allow for rotational use of limited phototherapy machines, and may be preferable to families as it can allow for increased bonding. Filtration of sunlight to block harmful ultraviolet light and frequent temperature checks for babies under sunlight may be warranted for safety. Sunlight may be effective in preventing hyperbilirubinemia in some cases, but these studies have not demonstrated that sunlight alone is effective for the treatment of hyperbilirubinemia given its sporadic availability and the low or very low certainty of the evidence in these studies.

Ultraviolet light breaks down bilirubin (the cause of jaundice) and therapeutic ultraviolet lights are used for in neonatal units.

So, provided the infant is well enough to go outdoors and the usual guidance on protecting babies from intense sunlight or extremes of temperature is followed, there is no reason why they cannot go outside. The sunlight might even help the jaundice, though sunlight alone may not be sufficient in some cases if hyperbilirubinaemia.

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