Business Insider Edition

This dad from China invented a 'baby pod' backpack to protect his child from the coronavirus

Dylan Barth , Business Insider US
 Apr 03, 2020, 12:30 PM

  • A father from Shanghai, China, designed a "baby pod" to protect his infant child from the coronavirus.
  • The isolation pod pumps purified air into the pod and has built-in rubber gloves to prevent skin contact.
  • Inventor Cao Junjie spent a month making it out of a cat carrier backpack.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider South Africa.

One father in China has gone to extreme lengths to protect his 2-month-old child from the coronavirus.

Cao Junjie, a 30-year-old dad from Shanghai, recently built an "isolation pod" in which to carry his child outside.

It's just one example of how life in China has been altered by the coronavirus. More than 80 000 cases of the virus have been confirmed in China since it was discovered there late last year, although US officials believe many more cases have gone unreported.

As the pandemic worsened, Cao spent a month transforming a cat carrier backpack into a baby safety pod.

The pod, worn like a backpack, pumps purified air into the pod from an electronic fan system, and a carbon dioxide monitor measures the air quality inside. He installed rubber gloves that reach inside the pod to prevent skin-to-skin contact.

"It can offer a totally isolated environment when going out," Cao told Reuters. "It can provide a safe and comfortable environment for the baby."

Babies are not considered high-risk for the virus - research has found the vast majority of children experience mild symptoms, and few require hospitalization.

But it was still important to these parents that they find an alternative to a mask.

"The mask can affect his breathing, so it's dangerous," Cao's wife, Fang Lulu, told Reuters. I think this thing he has made is pretty safe. We have tried it several times, so I trust it."

The device hasn't won over experts - one Wisconsin pediatrician told Business Insider Today that "if there's a malfunction, I worry about the child's air supply."

Cao said he plans to produce more pods with varying sizes.

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