Before I was pregnant I had never heard of the many dangerous things that can plaque babies. Thankfully, I didn’t have to learn about RSV the hard way but a friend recently took her little one to the hospital with it. Now that I’ve researched it more I want to share this information with you so you can pass it along to your friends and family.
This is me and my little sweet pea at one day old.
For most infants, respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus (RSV) causes an illness like a common cold. But some babies may be at high risk for severe RSV disease. This can lead to serious complications, hospital visits, breathing treatments and more. I don’t want to imagine how terrifying that must be!
Here are some quick tips to preventing RSV from infecting your baby. Remember if you have a high-risk baby (or even a healthy baby) it is ok to remind every visitor to wash their hands. This is the health of your child, it’s worth the inconvenience and time it takes to ask! After you finish reading this blog post share it with your friends and family and allow them to read about the dangers of RSV without you having to communicate it to them.
A few tips to remember when a loved one has a new baby:
- Call before you visit. New parents need time to set up a routine and bond. By giving them time to do so before you visit, you are respecting the new family.
- Bring them a meal. This will be ever so helpful to them but remember to steer away from overly spicy foods.
- Postpone a visit if you feel that you may be getting sick, have recently been ill or exposed to illness.
- Remember that parents know best. If you feel they are being overprotective or overly cautious, just consider that only they know what’s best for the health of their new son or daughter.
- Offer to do something to ease their responsibilities as they spend time as a family, such as laundry, cooking or dishes. Sleep-deprived moms and dads will appreciate your help!
If you do schedule a visit with a new baby:
- Wash your hands frequently—upon entering the home and especially prior to holding the baby. Parents, and the new baby, will appreciate it.
- Leave toddlers at home, especially during the winter months. Young children, especially if they attend day care or preschool, often carry germs and viruses, like RSV, that are easily spread.
A few facts about RSV that all parents, caregivers and loved ones should know:
- Almost every baby will contract RSV by age 2, but only 1/3 of moms say they’ve heard of the virus.
- Serious RSV infection is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.
- RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America. For more information or to verify when the RSV season is in your area you should check out RSVProtection.com and click on the right hand tab called “Understanding RSV season.”
- There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take preventive steps to help protect their child (ex. wash hands, toys, bedding frequently; avoid crowds and cigarette smoke).
- Certain babies are at an increased risk of developing serious RSV infection, so it’s important to speak with a pediatrician to determine if a baby may be at high risk for RSV, and discuss preventive measures.
- Symptoms of serious RSV infection include: persistent coughing or wheezing; rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths; blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails; high fever; extreme fatigue; and difficulty feeding. Parents should contact a medical professional immediately upon signs of these symptoms.
MedImmune provided me with a letter that you can read, copy, and even print if you want. You can use it as a way to kindly convey the extreme caution you want taken around your little one. This open letter from Mom is a gentle and simple way to get the message across without having to bare the wildly fluctuating emotions of a new mom as you try to explain why you want what’s best for your child.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.
See those little buttons below here? Use those to share this post with your friends and family. Especially if you have a new baby, a baby on the way or if you know someone who is expecting or has a new baby please share this with them. RSV is a dangerous, dangerous virus and it could be a matter of life or death if not caught soon enough.