Photo: Babyjungeln / Handout / Scanpix

Knitted octopi no longer welcome at hospital

Sweden's neo-natal units have started issued bans on an unlikely visitor to their wards, knitted octopi, according to news agency TT and TV4 News.

The knitted versions of eight-legged creatures are supposed to have a calming effect on premature infants, and a Danish trend has now spread to Swedish hospitals.

But Berit Paul, head of the neo-natal unit at Skåne's University Hospital says they have been forced to ban all traces of octopus from the hospital ward.

"A knitted toy can collect bacteria and become a risk factor for infections", she told TV4 News. "if we were to let the kids have the octopi then we would have to wash them every day, and we can't do that."

Babies' heart rates become more even and the oxygenation of the blood improves, when soft octopus accompanies them to hospital, according to Danish experts.

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