I'm having an argument with a relative who believes that it is actually dangerous to take my child to see their great-grandmother who is living in the nursing section of an old folks home. She's not sick (as in diseased), she's just really old.

I can understand not taking the kid in the back with the rest of the people in the nursing section, but shouldn't I be able to take my grandmother outside the nursing section to see my son?

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    Anecdotal evidence, but I took my daughter to see my great grandmother when she was just a couple of months old. It was a true honor to be part in connecting the two together. Neither got sick from the event. :) Jul 31, 2014 at 12:41
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    My only concern specific to a baby in a nursing home is the danger of c. diff infection. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/c-difficile/basics/…
    – Marc
    Jul 31, 2014 at 15:08

1 Answer 1


This may fall under medical advice, and I am not a doctor or health professional.

On WebMD, under the flu & cold section, they mention newborns younger than 6 weeks are at higher risk for colds because their immune systems are immature.

They list a number of precautions, and the following might be applicable to your situation:

  • Keep newborns away from anyone who is sick.
  • If possible, avoid crowds and using public transportation with newborns

I don't think that a nursing home is crowded place, especially if you only go visit one person.

In addition, I would:

  • ask anyone who holds the baby to wash hands first.
  • make sure the baby (& you!) is up to date on vaccinations (for that matter, so should any elderly be)

If the baby is older than 6 weeks, the risk is probably lower, but you can still follow those guidelines of course.

Note that in the US, most daycares (nurseries) allow babies as young as 6 weeks. The baby will be exposed to a lot of germs here.

If the baby has any health issues or was premature, I would definitely check with a doctor before going anywhere.

  • "(for that matter, so should any elderly be)" - depends on the person. People with dementia might have left advanced directives ordering no things like flu vaccinations.
    – DanBeale
    Jul 31, 2014 at 14:49
  • @DanBeale of course - all individuals are different, and have different wishes, but in general, in most countries, kids and elderly are recommended things like the flu vaccine. This will also help protect any visitors to a grand or great grand parent :)
    – Ida
    Jul 31, 2014 at 16:19
  • As Ida said above, your baby would get more germs from a day care centre! Do it. What a great joy it would be for the great-grandmother. And who knows if she will still be here when baby is one.
    – Smurk
    Aug 1, 2014 at 1:48

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