We are right in the middle of cold, flu, and RSV season. Below is what you need to know about RSV Respiratory Syncytial Virus to protect your baby and children.
RSV Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Nearly 100% of babies will contract RSV Respiratory Syncytial Virus by the age of 2. This is a virus that spreads much like the common cold through touching, hugging, kissing, sharing, etc. The RSV season is from November through the end of March. Most babies and children will exhibit cold-like symptoms.
If nearly 100% of babies get the virus, then why should we worry? RSV can lead to serious respiratory infections, especially in premature babies. The RSV virus can attack under-developed lungs of premature babies, causing severe results. RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization and kills around 500 children every year.
RSV symptoms generally start like a common cold and progresses into:
- Persistent coughing and/or wheezing
- Rapid, difficult, and/or gasping breaths
- Blue color on the lips, mouth, and/or under fingernails
- High fever
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty feeding
When to go to the doctor for RSV
Your baby may be sick and you are wondering when to go to the doctor for RSV. If your baby exhibits any of the following symptoms, you need to seek medical care immediately:
- Coughing or wheezing that doesn’t stop
- Troubled or fast breathing
- Nostrils that are spread-out and/or caved-in chest when they are trying to breathe
- Mouth or fingernails that are bluish in color
- Fever – especially if it is over 100°F for babies under 3 months old
If your child has milder RSV symptoms, it should run its course. However, do your part so that you don’t spread RSV to those at higher risk, like those that were born premature.
How to prevent RSV
As a mom, I try to keep my family healthy by preventative measures. Our #1 means of fighting germs is by washing our hands all the time. I also keep toys, door handles, light switches, cell phones, keys, steering wheels, etc wiped down with sanitizer wipes. Germs can last for hours on such common surfaces. There is no cure for RSV, so the only help is preventative.
How to Prevent RSV
- Wash your hands and your child’s hands often
- Wash your child’s bedding, blankets, sheets, coats, etc to be free from RSV germs
- Wash your child’s toys, changing table, and other crib items
- Keep your child home if he is sick to prevent the spread of RSV
- Have in-home nanny or childcare instead of group childcare
- Talk to your doctor about ways to prevent RSV
More on RSV
If your child is at a higher risk for RSV because they were premature, please take extra measures to protect your children from RSV. This means being extra protective during RSV season – which is thankfully just 2 months left this year.
RSV and Child Care
Nearly 82% of kids in the USA between the ages of 6 weeks – 6 years old attend some type of child care. During this time, they are exposed to all sorts of germs! It’s like a germ love fest at child care facilities with kids sharing toys, tables, high chairs, and just being close together all day long. What can I mom do to protect their children from all the germs? My kids were not in childcare, however, they did go to the church nursery, Eagles Nest at the grocery store, and preschool. Besides wiping down toys at your church, sending in extra antibacterial wipes to preschool, and teaching kids young to wash thier hands, there isn’t much control you have at these child care facilities.
During the RSV season and when they were under 3 months old, I kept my babies home the majority of the time, and did not pass them all around at church or socially. I required everyone to wash their hands before touching my babies and not at all if they were sick. You can never be too cautious when it comes to a virus that can not be treated.
If your life situation requires your babies and young children to be in a child-care setting, consider at-home care giving instead. I have never thought of this until I learned about this and other RSV tips and tricks on the RSVProtection.com. If possible, at home child care would be ideal, especially for babies born premature. Talk to your child’s doctor for other ways to protect your child during RSV season.
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.