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ISRN Nursing
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 502393, 9 pages
Research Article

Light Reduction Capabilities of Homemade and Commercial Incubator Covers in NICU

1Frances Payne School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44120, USA
2Faculty of Nursing, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
3College of Nursing, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Al Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia

Received 15 June 2013; Accepted 10 August 2013

Academic Editors: L. W. Lam and D. Whitehead

Copyright © 2013 Susan M. Ludington-Hoe and Amel Abouelfettoh. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reduction of high-risk neonates’ exposure to aversive light stimulation is an important component of developmentally supportive care. In neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), usually light is reduced by reducing the room’s light level or by using incubator covers. Many types of incubator covers are in use, including homemade and commercial covers. A comparative study was used to determine the light reducing capabilities of 19 homemade incubator covers, 2 commercial covers, and 1 receiving blanket. The covers were tested by covering and uncovering an incubator and an oxygen hood in the NICU during daytime and nighttime lightings. The light reducing capabilities value was determined for each cover using an Extech light dosimeter when the cover was placed over and removed from an oxyhood, and an incubator. The study showed that the light reducing capability of the commercial covers was 91.2%, the homemade covers capability was 72.1%, and the receiving blankets capability was 55.1%. A significant difference between the commercial and homemade covers was found ( , ). Commercial incubator covers are the most effective covers to achieve light reduction; homemade covers can be effective if made large enough so that they completely cover all sides of the incubator.