Swedish doctors want crochet octopuses away from newborns

Aug. 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

MALMO, Sweden, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Doctors at Swedish hospitals are asking new parents to stop bringing crochet octopuses to neo-natal wards due to bacteria.

Doctors at Skane University Hospital in Malmo said parents have been bringing crochet octopuses to the birthing ward as part of a trend that started in neighboring Denmark and experts are concerned the stuffed animals could bring dangerous bacteria into close contact with newborns, the Swedish news agency TT and The Local.se reported Friday.

"A cloth toy can gather up bacteria and become an infection risk factor. If we let the children have these octopi, we'd have to clean them daily, and that's not a service we can provide," said Berit Paul, head of the neo-natal unit.

The trend started in Denmark, where doctors said they have seen infants' heart rates stabilize and oxygen blood levels improve when the newborns are given the crochet octopuses.

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