Traffic Light Hats Keep Newborn Babies Safe and Well

Traffic Light Hats Launch Web small
Traffic Light Hats Keep Newborn Babies Safe and Well
05 June 2018

Calling all knitters…can you help the Royal Oldham Hospital’s tiniest patients? The hospital is looking for natty knitters to donate hand-made bobble hats for newborn babies.

The hospital recently introduced a traffic light hat initiative for newborn babies, that helps to ensure all babies receive the right level of care. Newborn babies can lose heat very quickly, which can lead to them becoming unwell.

Each baby born on the postnatal ward at the Royal Oldham Hospital will receive a bobble hat when they are born, which indicates to staff and parents the level of care that is right for them.

The bobble hats will be used on the Royal Oldham’s postnatal ward and they need to be knitted with a red, amber or green bobble – just like a traffic light system, using soft baby wool and to any newborn hat pattern.

Postnatal Ward Manager, Melanie Wildman, said: “Keeping a baby warm in the first few hours of life is important and babies that are warm tend to do much better. We think the traffic light hats are a great visual aid for our midwives to easily identify babies that may need a little more help or care in those first few hours.”

Red hats are for babies who are more at risk, maybe because of infection, who may need more regular neonatal observations by a nurse or midwife.

Amber hats are for babies who may require a little more attention because they were born premature or a low birth weight. These babies may need a little extra help with feeding or keeping warm.

Green hats are for lower risk babies who only require routine observations because they were born healthy and are a good weight.

The hats are only worn for the first 24 hours of the baby’s life before their individual care is reassessed. A badge is then attached to the bed to indicate the level of care required and to ensure safe sleeping for baby. Mums can then take the hats home as a keepsake to remember the birth of their baby.

The new initiative has successfully been used by other hospitals including the Royal United Hospital in Bath. In Oldham, the initiative is already underway and donations have already been received from keen volunteer knitters throughout the North West.

To celebrate the launch of the scheme and to say thanks for the hats already received, staff from the postnatal ward invited mums and volunteer knitters to a special tea party on the ward.

If you would like to get your knitting needles out and donate a hat to the ward, you can contact Postnatal Ward Manager, Melanie Wildman on 0161 627 8181 or by e-mail: