Just like having a flu season, we also have a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) season. RSV is present year-round but it starts to go up in the fall and peaks in the winter. It then starts to go down in early spring. RSV typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, although in some babies it can result in serious respiratory infection.
Tips on Keeping Your Baby Healthy
Since RSV can more prominent in school and daycare settings, what are some tips on keeping your baby healthy?
- Parents of premature babies may want to consider an alternate form of daycare, such as a nanny, at home care by a friend or relative, or an in-home daycare.
- Since RSV can live on countertops, doorknobs, tables, high chairs, toys and sheets it is important special toys and blankets not be shared and that proper cleaning is done after each use of eating surfaces.
- Also, the parent’s hands and those of the child’s should be kept clean. This advice should also be shared with those who handle your children.
- For school-aged siblings, they should bring anti-bacterial hand gel with them to keep their hands germ free. They also need to wash their hands as soon as they come home from school.
- During RSV season you will also want to avoid large crowds or other sick children.
You can also visit the RSV Protection website for additional information on protecting you little one’s against RSV.
What is RSV?
This is a disease that affects the lungs. Most children will catch RSV by the age of two years old. It spreads very quickly among children. By the time kids show symptoms of RSV, they have already been infected for 4 – 6 days. Here is an RSV Awareness Fact Sheet that will help provide some additional information for you too.
Here are some signs and symptoms of RSV
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast or troubled breathing
- A bluish color around the mouth or fingernails.
- Spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe
- Gasping for breath
Any of these signs would also require a phone call to your healthcare provider right away.
Who is at Risk?
Babies who are born preterm are at higher risk for RSV since they have underdeveloped lungs. In these babies RSV can lead to serious lung infections, like pneumonia and/or bronchiolitis.
My twins, Anna and Ethan, were born at 32 weeks. I was really taken by surprise when my water broke in the middle of the night without absolutely any warning. Once the shock wore off, the fear stepped in that they would be all right being born so early. Thankfully they were both very healthy, other than a few developmental things that made them stay in the Neonatal Unit (NICU) for three weeks each.
Since they were born early, and at the end of October they were deemed high risk for RSV. Luckily they were approved to get a monthly injection that helped to prevent RSV. Actually, that injection worked so well they did not even get a cold that first winter they were born. Although they made up for the following year since they went through nine colds…I counted!
The exact timing of it can vary state-to-state so you may want to check your location for when you are at the most risk. Please take a look at this RSV Protection infographic below for additional ways to prevent RSV for your baby.
Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.