Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
From the looks of my Instagram & Facebook feed, it looks like Finter has arrived – yes, Finter. Fall weather mixed with winter temperatures. Where I live, it's been warm but with a slight breeze one day, freezing cold the next. The crazy changes in temperature can leave one feeling under the weather really quick – especially our kids. From the looks of it, the cold is here to stay & with World Prematurity Day on November 17th, I decided there wasn't a better time to talk about a disease that can affect not only your kids – but your whole family – during this time of the year, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus).
You've probably already heard about RSV & how premature babies are more at risk. I had a niece & nephew who were both born premature & anyone who went near them had to be really careful. Not only did they look fragile but their immune systems weren't as strong as babies who are born on or after their due date. But while premature babies are more at risk because of their immature immune systems, you have to know that RSV can affect any baby. The scary thing is, you probably think you're dealing with a common cold. And while RSV can cause cold like symptoms, it shouldn't be treated as such.
Check out some key facts, symptoms, and ways to protect your baby below!
Key RSV Facts:
- RSV occurs in epidemics each year, typically from November through March, though it can vary by geography and year-to year
- RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with
- approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year
- RSV disease is responsible for one of every 13 pediatrician visits and one of every 38 trips to the ER in children under the
- age of five
- Despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers have never heard of the virus
Learn the Symptoms of Severe RSV Disease:
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
- Fever [especially if it is over 100.4°F (rectal) in infants under 3 months of age]
How Can I Help Protect My Baby From RSV?
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Additionally, the virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. There is no treatment for RSV disease once it’s contracted, so prevention is critical. To help minimize the spread of RSV disease, all parents should:
- Wash their hands and ask others to do the same
- Keep toys, clothes, blanket and sheets clean
- Avoid crowds and other young children during RSV season
- Never let anyone smoke around your baby
- Steer clear of people who are sick or who have recently been sick
The most important thing we can do is educate ourselves so we can know what to do to protect and keep our babies healthy! It's always better to be prepared. Be sure to check out RSVProtection.com for more information & like always, you can always ask your family doctor for more information if you have any concerns.