RSV Awareness – Keeping Babies Healthy

Princess Nagger at 8 months

This winter seems to have been brutal with people getting sick left and right – and how about that flu epidemic?  I’m just thankful we’ve stayed pretty healthy, save for the cold Princess Nagger brought home from school and shared with me.  I’m looking forward to when that departs and I’m feeling human again.

A friend of my aunt’s wasn’t so lucky with evading sickness – her 6 week old baby granddaughter was rushed to the hospital early in January with RSV.  She’s OK now, but it was a very scary thing for her grandmother to go through.  I had never heard of RSV before this happened, but apparently it’s something to be informed about, especially for those that have young children and in daycare or preschool.

What is RSV?

(RSV) is a common, seasonal virus that is highly contagious. It affects two-thirds of all by age one and almost 100% of by age two. It is often spread through touching, hugging and kissing and can live on surfaces for several hours.

What are the symptoms of RSV?

During RSV season, typcially November through March, parents should be aware of RSV which usually causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, and in some babies can result in a serious . Premature infants are at higher risk for severe RSV as their lungs aren’t fully developed.

Severe that require immediate medical care include:

  • 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)

How can I prevent the spread of RSV?

To prevent the spread of the virus, parents should encourage children to wash hands regularly, and keep blankets, clothes, toys and other shared items clean. Avoiding crowds and sick children is also very helpful.

More facts about RSV that you should know

  • Almost every baby will contract RSV by age 2, but only 1/3 of moms say they’ve heard of the virus.
  • Serious RSV infection is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.
  • RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
  • Certain babies are at an increased risk of developing serious RSV infection, so it’s important to speak with a pediatrician to determine if a baby may be at high risk for RSV, and discuss preventive measures.
  • Symptoms of serious RSV infection include: persistent coughing or wheezing; rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths; blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails; high fever; extreme fatigue; and difficulty feeding. Parents should contact a medical professional immediately upon signs of these symptoms.
  • There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take preventive steps to help protect their child (wash hands, toys, bedding frequently; avoid crowds and cigarette smoke).

 RSV Infographic

To learn more about RSV, please visit RSVProtection.com.

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I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.. All opinions are mine and not influenced by outside sources. See my Disclosure Policy here.

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7 thoughts on “RSV Awareness – Keeping Babies Healthy

  1. My 2 oldest both had it and both required hospitalization with it. The oldest was less than a year old when he had it and spent 3 days in a humidity tent getting breathing treatments. My middle one was 2 and a half, a point which we thought made us clear. But a severe case of chicken pox put him in a compromised immunity situation and he went from bad to worse in a couple of days. As in basically comatose. He required being on life support for 14 days not knowing if he would be okay because his body was fighting it and the chicken pox. Our baby never had it thank goodness the first 2 spent enough time in hospitals for a lifetime.

  2. My boy was such a high risk for RSV that they gave him the vaccine for it. As far as I know he’s never had it, but I don’t know if that’s because of the vaccine or not.

  3. Oh now girlfriend I know why you wanted to do this important Post and share it with all of us… and may I say what an important piece of information and so very thorough. My granddaughter had this when she was young, and ended up in the hospital for a few days. How scary when a child is so young, but back to what I was saying… you just wanted a chance to show off that absolutely heavenly, adorable, blue eyed baby girl of yours once again! Such a proud Mommy & you have every right to be. She’s a little angel!!! Keep her safe and all the germs at bay! Thank you so much for sharing such an important piece of information! It wouldn’t hurt to repost this somewhere down the line.

  4. So how can a parent tell when a child has RSV? There is no surefire way, as viruses can be unpredictable and variable in the way they present, but a “typical” pattern is as follows. Two to eight days after exposure to the virus, symptoms of a cold develop: runny nose (usually an impressively gooey one), a variable fever , and decreased appetite. Not uncommonly, the ears are infected as well.