If you are a parent to a young child, especially if they are younger than 2, then you need to be aware of RSV prevention and symptoms. We are in the middle of RSV season, which means you need to be aware of dangers associated with it.
RSV is Respiratory Syncytial Viruswhich is a 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 including doorknobs, countertops, toys, and bedding for several hours. The symptoms of RSV start like the common cold and are more common in children aged 6 weeks to 2 years. Many factors play into why this age group is more prone to RSV including close contact with other kids in preschool or childcare, and their need for close contact and is often spread through touching, hugging and kissing! The cold weather just aids in the spread of sickness.
Common RSV symptoms that need to be addressed immediately:
· 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)
Remember that RSV can spread easily among young children. RSV symptoms can stay mild and the sickness will run its course, but if the RSV symptoms are severe, they can lead to a serious lung infection. Premature babies are at a higher risk for RSV because of their underdeveloped lungs.
What can you do as a Parent?
- Keep an watchful eye on your child if they develop cold-like symptoms.
- Keep your child home from school or daycare if they are sick to stop the spread of the virus.
- Encourage your children to wash their hands throughout the day.
- Keep toys, clothes, blankets, and sheets clean.
- Avoid crowded places during RSV season.
A few facts about RSV that all parents, caregivers and loved ones 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).
Prevention is key when it comes to RSV. If you would like to learn more about RSV please visit RSVprotection.
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