23 Aug 2020

Campaign seeks masks for parents visiting babies in neonatal units

2:07 pm on 23 August 2020

A charity has launched a nationwide campaign to create masks for parents visiting their babies in neonatal units.

Young woman wearing pink face mask portrait - Blonde female using protective facemask for preventing spread of corona virus

File image. Photo: 123RF

The Neonatal Trust has put a call out for donations of material, elastic, pre-made reusable masks or for people to pick up a needle and make them.

The Face Masks for Families campaign started last week with about 100 masks already made.

Executive director Rachel Friend said it all started in the wake of Auckland's raised alert level and the Ministry of Health advice to wear masks, especially after the shortage during the first lockdown.

"We wanted to ensure that our families who visit their babies in neonatal units have got access to them so that they're able to safely walk through hospitals and public areas to get to their babies in the units, because they're under enough stress as it is at the moment," Friend said.

"Ideally we would want every parent to have one so in New Zealand, in general at any one time, there will be 400 babies in a unit. So that could be an intensive care or special care unit ... so we'd be looking anywhere between 800 to 1000 masks."

She hoped the act of kindness might make a difference for families during an emotional and difficult time.

People who are interested in getting involved or families who need a mask, can go to the Neonatal Trust's website or social media for more details or email the trust.

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