We’re headed into such a dreadful time right now with cold and flu season right on the horizon. It’s hard to go just about anywhere without hearing someone coughing or sneezing and there’s been sick people aplenty calling into the clinic where I work already. And it’s only October!
I have to admit that I’m quite nervous to have a little one during such a yucky time of year for illness. I had Alea on April 3rd and we were thankfully right on the tail end of all the ick and yuck of the seasonal illnesses. It was perfect. She’s always been a very healthy baby and kiddo– thank goodness!
This time around, though, little miss number two is hopefully going to be born within the next week or so and I’m getting all kind of nervous about keeping her healthy. We have the holidays to get through, too, and we all know no one likes to skip a holiday get together just because they’re sniffling, sneezing, and hacking up a lung!
With all joking aside, this month is actually RSV Awareness Month and I’d love to share with you today a little about this no-so-well-known illness. I’ll break it down simply for ya’ll and then share some ways you can help keep your newborn baby (hopefully) RSV-free.
What is RSV?: RSV is a respiratory illness that effects baby’s lungs and breathing passages the most. RSV stands for “Respiratory Syncytial Virus.” It typically presents with cold-like symptoms and most babies can get over it without trouble, but high-risk babies such as premature infants, babies with congenital heart disease and babies with chronic lung disease are more likely to develop serious complications.
What are the Symptoms of RSV?: Cold-like symptoms are most common with RSV and include: coughing and sneezing and a fever. In high-risk infants, you’ll see a very high temperature (>103 degrees fahrenheit), trouble breathing, bluish color around nail beds or lips, and flaring of the nostrils or caving in of the chest/rib cage with breathing. That last list of symptoms is very, very serious, and baby should be brought to the emergency room immediately if experiencing any of those symptoms.
When is Baby Most Likely to Get RSV?: November through March is the peak time of year for RSV.
How Contagious is RSV?: Very. Most kiddos will have RSV at some point by the time they are 2 years old. Most kids get over it in a couple of weeks, but then remain contagious for up to 3 weeks after.
How to Prevent RSV: Hand washing is always number one. Make sure you’re washing your hands frequently and make sure those who will touch or hold your baby are washing theirs thoroughly as well. Keep your child away from large crowds of people, small children, and away from people with colds as much as possible. Wash toys, clothes, and bedding often to prevent the spread of germs. Do NOT let anyone who smokes in your home or near your baby. Third hand smoke is absolutely a concern for newborn babies and puts them at an increased risk for getting RSV. Better safe than sorry– sorry smokers– but you won’t be holding my baby!
This infographic is also a great resource:
For more information on RSV and how to keep your little baby healthy, visit RSV Protection.com.
How will you protect your little from RSV?
Has your little ever been diagnosed with RSV?