Light treatment (phototherapy)
BMJ Group Medical Reference
Light treatment (or phototherapy) is a good way of getting rid of jaundice in babies. The lights help your baby process bilirubin (the substance in their blood that makes their skin yellow).   Light treatment works so well that just a few babies need any other treatment.
To read more about bilirubin and how jaundice happens, see What is jaundice in newborn babies?
To have light treatment, your baby is put in a cot with lights about 20 centimetres (8 inches) from their body.  Your baby's eyes are covered with a mask to stop the light hurting them.  Most babies need about one or two days of light treatment. This treatment is done in hospital. 
Two good-quality studies (called randomised controlled trials) found that light treatment helped to get rid of jaundice in babies.   In one of these studies: 
Light treatment has a few side effects. Your baby may:
Some doctors and parents are also concerned that babies who're given light treatment have to be separated from their mothers.  So doctors have been looking at a new way of giving light treatment to babies. This is called fibre-optic light treatment.
randomised controlled trials
Randomised controlled trials are medical studies designed to test whether a treatment works. Patients are split into groups. One group is given the treatment being tested (for example, an antidepressant drug) while another group (called the comparison or control group) is given an alternative treatment. This could be a different type of drug or a dummy treatment (a placebo). Researchers then compare the effects of the different treatments.
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