It’s cold and flu season which means it’s time to keep an eye on our children and help them practice healthy habits so we don’t spread germs. World Prematurity Day is on November 17th and RSV is a huge concern with babies, especially babies that are born prematurely. RSV is a common seasonal virus that almost all babies will have contracted by the age of 2. While it’s so common, it produces mild to moderate cold like symptoms in healthy full term babies, but in premature babies they are at increased risk of developing severe RSV disease and are twice as likely to be hospitalized.
I’ve actually had several friends very close to me who have had premature babies and have had their babies develop RSV and become hospitalized. My close friend Airen, her son Isaiah was born 6 weeks premature. He developed RSV as well as pneumonia in both lungs while in the hospital and had a 6 week long stay. I remember how difficult this was for my friend Airen. Leaving her baby every night to be cared for while she went home empty handed was the hardest thing for her. RSV is serious and there is no treatment for RSV. Prevention is absolutely critical, so please educate yourself and others whenever you have the opportunity.
RSV usually occurs November through March, so we are just now entering the beginning of when RSV usually occurs. If you have children, make sure to ensure healthy habits into their daily routine. Make sure they continuously wash their hands and keep out of the faces of other children and babies. If your children are sick or recently have been sick, please keep them at home as much as possible.
What is the difference between a cold and RSV?
Symptoms to look out for:
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
How to protect your baby:
- Never let anyone smoke around your baby.
- Always wash your hands often, and ask anyone holding your baby to do the same.
- Keep toys, clothes, blankets, and sheets clean.
- Limit the time around other children during RSV season.
- Stay away from people who are sick or who have recently been sick.
You can learn more about RSV at http://www.RSVProtection.com
You can also check out the infographic below for more information as well.
Follow on all social media channels with the hashtags #RSVAwareness and #PreemieProtection
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