Not only is it the holiday season with Thanksgiving just past and Christmas and New Year’s Eve around the corner, it is also the start of the serious RSV season. From November through March, nearly all children under 2 years old will contract RSV. Respiratory Syncytial Virus, RSV sends 79% of premature babies to the hospital because their lungs are underdeveloped and they can’t fight off infection.
How to Prevent RSV
RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalizing and causes up to 10X the infant deaths as the flu every year. RSV can be prevented and measures should be taken especially by preemie moms as their babies are most at risk.
- Clean hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
- Be sure that you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer every time
- Avoid large crowds and people who are or have been sick
- Don’t smoke or allow anyone to smoke near your baby
- Check with your baby’s doctor for preventive therapy if your baby is at risk
75% of parents don’t understand that a baby born at or before 37 weeks is considered premature. Therefore, they don’t take extra precautions necessary or give the specialized health care that preemies often need. It’s not just a bonus that your baby arrived several weeks early so you don’t have to be pregnant any longer – a premature baby has an immune system and lungs that aren’t fully developed in addition to other health issues. If your baby was born at or before 37 weeks, learn more about how to care for premature babies here, including protecting them from the risk of RSV.
Knowing RSV symptoms can help you to know whether your baby needs to see the pediatrician. If your baby has any of the following symptoms, call your pediatrician immediately.
- Severe coughing, wheezing or rapid gasping breaths
- Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
- High fever and extreme fatigue
My daughter was born 3 weeks and 5 days early, putting her in the preemie category. Since she was a whopping 8lbs 15oz, it was hard to consider her a preemie. I have big babies, my son was 2 weeks early at 9lbs 8 oz!
However, I took all the precautions necessary to protect her since she was born during RSV season. That meant that I didn’t’ take her to church or other public places for 2 months. I didn’t allow her to be passed from person to person at church either during RSV, cold, and flu season. When anyone held her or my son when he was a newborn, I asked them to wash their hands or sanitize their hands. You can never be too cautious with your baby, especially if they are a preemie. Who cares if Aunt Sandy thinks your are paranoid or if people comment that they didn’t do that when their kids were babies and they turned out fine. This is Your baby and it is your responsibility to protect her.
Check out this info-graphic that quickly shows you the risks of RSV for premature babies. Know the facts of RSV so you can protect your babies.
Join the conversation online: #protectpreemies #rsv
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.