Is sunlight an effective tretment for infants with jaundice?

Centre for Clinical Effectiveness, Monash Institute of Health Services Research, Southern Health, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.
The Medical journal of Australia (Impact Factor: 4.09). 05/2003; 178(8):403.
Source: PubMed
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    • "In a study conducted in Australia it was reported that nearly half of the participating medical staff recommended sun exposure to treat neonatal jaundice [34]. There is insufficient evidence about the benefit of sunlight for neonatal jaundice [7] and there are no reports/recommendations about the benefit of use of direct sunlight for neonatal jaundice in the medical literature [10]. Nevertheless, especially in developing countries it is believed that exposure to sunlight is beneficial, even considered an alternative phototherapy source by medical staff for the treatment of neonatal jaundice [1,6,35,36]. "
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    ABSTRACT: For centuries, sunlight has been used for therapeutic purposes. Parents still sun their infants to treat neonatal jaundice, nappy rash or mostly to supply vitamin D for bone development as a consequence of health beliefs. In this study we aimed to assess knowledge and behaviour of parents about benefits of sunlight and sun protection. In this study, parents attending to governmental primary healthcare units for their children's routine vaccinations, upon their informed consent, were consecutively enrolled during one month. Data were collected by a semi-structured questionnaire. The mean age of 118 enrolled parents and their babies were 27.9 +/- 6.5 years and 8.3 +/- 5.8 months, respectively. Most of the participants were mothers (93.2%), housewives (81.4%) with an educational level of > or =6 years (71.2%). Sunlight was considered beneficial for bone development (86.4%), diaper rash (5.9%) and neonatal jaundice (12.7%). In case of neonatal jaundice 72.0% of the participants reported that they would consult a physician. Most of the participants (82.2%) were sunning their babies outdoors. Nearly half (49.7%) of them got this information from medical staff. Fifty two percent of the parents were sunning their babies before 10-11 a.m. and/or after 3 p.m. Only 13.6% of parents reported using sunscreen for their babies, and the majority of them were using sun protecting factor > or = 15. One forth of the sunscreen users was using sunscreen according to their physicians' advice. Most of the participants were aware of the benefits of sunlight; especially for bone development. However they were displaying inappropriate behaviour while sunning their babies for health reasons. More education should be given to parents about the danger of sunlight at primary health care units while advising to sun their babies, if any.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2006 · BMC Pediatrics
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    • "The most important predictor of these beliefs was having a child who had previously been treated for jaundice. Forty percent of multiparous women indicated that they had already intentionally exposed one or more of their children to sunlight to treat suspected neonatal jaundice (Harrison et al., 1999), even though there is insufficient rigorous medical evidence to support this practice (Johnston, Anderson, and Prentice, 2003). More than half of those women had exposed their infant to direct sunlight, many of them naked and some for up to 30 minutes at a time, while only 18.8% of those who intentionally exposed their child to sunlight, did so through a window "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To determine the beliefs of women living in sub-tropical and temperate Australia about the reputed therapeutic uses of sunglight in infancy and the postpartum period.Methods One hundred and sixty-seven Caucasian postpartum women were recruited from three maternity hospitals in Canberra (August 1998) and one in Brisbane (August 1999), and participated in structured interviews during a seven-day sampling period at each hospital.Results The prevalence of inappropriate maternal beliefs about therapeutic sun exposure in infancy and the postpartum period was similar in Brisbane and Canberra. Overall, 62% of women had at least one inappropriate belief about the perceived benefits of intentionally sunning their baby. Forty-two percent of women were in favour of using sunlight to treat neonatal jaundice; 31.1% believed sunlight was a good remedy for cracked nipples; 22.2% believed they should intentionally expose their baby to sunlight to prevent vitamin-D deficiency and 16.2% reported they would use sunlight to treat nappy rash. Older maternal age and previously sunning a child to treat jaundice were common predictors of a number of these beliefs.Conclusions and Implications These women reported a high prevalence of beliefs that may result in their infant being intentionally exposed to sunlight, and which could increase their child's future risk of skin cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2005 · Australian Midwifery
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    ABSTRACT: Neonatal Jaundice (NNJ) is a common disorder worldwide. Early identification and proper management is needed to prevent the serious neurological complications associated with it. To determine the knowledge of the women attending Children Outpatient (CHOP) and Immunization clinics on the causes, treatment and complications of neonatal jaundice. Women who brought their children/wards to the immunization/children out patient clinics at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Port Harcourt were interviewed using structured questionaire. There were 255 mothers who participated in the study. Of these 30 (11.8%) have never heard of neonatal jaundice while 225 (88.2%) have heard and only those who have heard were further analyzed. The age range was from 16 to 47 yrs (mean age 27.1 +/- 3.3 years). Median parity was 2. One hundred and twenty two (54.2%) women had tertiary education. One hundred and seventy four (77.3%) correctly defined neonatal jaundice, and in 114 (44.7%) source of information was from health talk in the clinic. Seventy five (33.3%), and 50 (22.2%) erroneously believed that eating too much groundnut in pregnancy and mosquito bite respectively were the main causes while 55 (24.4%) correctly answered that it is due to mismatch of mother and baby's blood. Only a few knew that use of dusting powder on baby's cord, prematurity, and storing baby's clothes in camphor were risk factors for NNJ. One hundred and fourteen (50.7%) and 60 (26.7%), wrongly believed that exposure to sunlight and use of glucose drinks respectively were the main forms of treatment and 50 (22.2%) knew brain damage as a possible complication There is still misconception on the causes and risk factors and treatment of neonatal jaundice among our women. Also only a few women are reached by the health talk in the clinics. There is therefore urgent need for massive health enlightenment campaign.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · Nigerian journal of clinical practice
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