Sunlight for Jaundice in newborn

Myth:

Early Morning sunlight cures jaundice in newborns.

Reality:

A special light is needed to reduce the level of Bilirubin in blood. This wavelength of light(the blue spectrum from approximately 390 to 470 nm.) can only be provided by  special equipment known a Photo Therapy Unit.  Sometimes  parents try to treat their jaundiced babies on their own without the proper equipment. Placing a baby under lights at home, near a windowsill in the sunlight, or outside in the sun will not lower the amount of bilirubin in his or her blood. Your baby’s skin may get burned by the lights or the sun. In addition, your baby may get too cold. Special lights and controlled surroundings are always needed to treat jaundice safely.

The myth, that exposure to sun cures jaundice, probably originated because the sunlight contains all wavelengths of light including the desired blue as well as the harmful Ultra Violet. Filtered sunlight has een used at remote places where the proper equipment (or electricity to run them) is not available. But there, a UV filter has to be used and the baby has to be put naked under the filtered sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours.