Denton Hospital Offers Families Virtual View of Babies in NICU

Parents of intensive care babies at a Denton hospital now have a new tool to help calm their fears and show off their little ones to family and friends: the Peek-a-Boo camera.

Texas Health Presbyterian Denton has installed the streaming online camera technology on all of their 10 beds in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit thanks to an anonymous donation from within the community.

The cameras allow parents of babies in the unit a special secure log-in to go online and get a live, almost constant camera view of their child.

Hospital leaders said it gives parents a way to see their babies in cases where they have to be separated, and to let them show off their new children to others.

The NICU has very limited visitation to protect the safety and health of the vulnerable, often premature babies in the ward. As a result, generally the parents are the only ones allowed to visit the child during sometimes extended stays at the hospital.

Malissa and Jeff Fry were the first couple to get to take advantage of the technology when their twins were born 6 weeks premature earlier this year.

The couple said having the camera view eased some of the stress during the tense time and allowed them to get to know their babies even before they could hold them and be with them full-time.

"I told everybody that I could possibly think would want to see them,” said Jeff.

"The nurses would come in and take my vitals and I'd be like, ‘do you see my babies? Look how cute they are!’ and I'd be like, ‘Andrew's been chasing his for an hour now,’” said Malissa.

Nurses in the NICU said it’s also been a useful tool for them to not only help the new parents get through the experience, but also to keep traffic in the busy ward down.

The cameras require passwords set up by the family in order to access the video stream.

Nurses estimate the donation as possibly the largest ever for the ward at nearly $50,000.

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