When I had my oldest, Carleigh, I pretty much stayed home for the first six weeks. I was too nervous to take her anywhere, tired of course, and just a nervous mom overall.
That of course changed having a second and third child. After our one year old was born, we were at the store just a day or two later, and I was have been taking her to the gym child watch since she was just a few months old.
I have overcome most of my fears that comes along with being a first time parent, but no matter if you have one child or eight, RSV can become a horrible experience for any child and their parent.
What is RSV?
RSV or respiratory syncytial [sin-sish-uhl] virus is a contagious viral disease that may infect a person’s lungs and breathing passages. It’s actually a very common seasonal virus that affects two-thirds of all infants by age one and almost 100% of babies by age two, because it’s highly contagious.
RSV can live on surfaces (doorknobs, counter-tops, toys, bedding) for several hours and is often spread through touching, hugging and kissing. Daycares and play areas (like malls & gyms) increase the risk of RSV spreading, since children are constantly sharing toys, tables and high chairs as well as eating and napping in close quarters.
In most cases RSV cause mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, but sadly some babies can get serious respiratory infections. Those most at risk for severe RSV include premature infants, as their lungs aren’t fully developed and they have fewer infection-fighting antibodies than full-term babies.
The RSV season typically runs from November through March, so during the winter months parents should be especially careful to watch for signs of RSV.
Here are symptoms of severe RSV infection that require immediate medical care:
• Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
• Fast or troubled breathing
• Spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe
• Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
• Fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F in infants under 3 months of age)
If your child has milder symptoms of RSV, the virus will likely run its course without any cause for alarm. However, it’s important to remember that even a mild case of RSV can be spread to other children, some of whom may be at high-risk for developing a serious infection from the virus. For this reason, it’s always best to keep a sick child home when possible, to prevent the spread of germs and viruses.
Once contracted, there is no treatment for RSV, so working together to prevent the risk of RSV is critical.
Make sure you take the right steps to prevent the spread of the virus. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, before touching food, after sneezing or blowing your nose, and before and after playtime. It’s also important to remember to keep toys, clothes, blankets, and sheets clean and avoid crowds and other sick children during RSV season.
If you think your child may be at high-risk for RSV, make sure you speak with a doctor about prevention. Visit RSVProtection.com and follow #RSVProtection on Twitter for more information.
Has your child ever experienced RSV or do you know someone who has?
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.