Helping to prevent RSV this winter season!

Posted by Jenna | Monday, February 11, 2013

My kids have never been in daycare so I make it a point to get them around little ones when I can to socialize, make friends and prepare them for the school years ahead. Between play dates, preschool, sunday school, church programs, etc...we keep pretty busy on a weekly basis. I think it's a great environment for them, but this winter in particular we are finding that it's also been a great way to share cold and flu germs. Not just that, but also Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

I am thankful we have never had to deal with RSV, but I know many parents who have! It's a common and contagious seasonal virus, occurring in epidemics every fall through the spring. While most parents focus on avoiding the flu this time of year (which has been our family the past month or so), RSV prevention is also VERY important...especially for young babies and children born prematurely.

RSV can cause moderate to severe cold-like symptoms, which can be dangerous for babies as it can result in a serious respiratory infection. The following are some symptoms of severe RSV infection that require immediate medical care:
  •  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 100.4ºF in infants under 3 months of age)
If a child has milder symptoms of RSV the virus will likely run its course without any cause for parental alarm. It is important however, for parents to remember that even a mild case can be spread to other children. For this reason, as well as the fact that there i no treatment for is important for parents to take steps to prevent the spread of the virus. 

It affects two-thirds of all babies by age one and nearly 100% of babies by age two! Wow, I was surprised and startled by this fact! It is estimated that 82% of US Children aged six weeks to six years old spend some amount of time in child care. This is important to note, because whether its five or 50 hours a week, the risks of spending time in these settings are the same - increased exposure to contagious germs and viruses! Because little ones' immune systems are not fully developed yet, this is especially worrisome for parents who have pre-term babies, or school aged siblings who bring home germs.

RSV can live on surfaces like doorknobs, counter tops, toys, bedding, etc for several hours and is often spread through touching, hugging and kissing. Being reminded of these things is a good reminder to me just how important it is to take precautions to keep my family healthy, especially this time of year!
We've been doing our best to be proactive in keeping our family (especially our little ones) RSV-free during this high-risk season! Some tips/tricks we use are:
  • Using hand sanitizer
  • Keeping our distance when feeling under the weather (or when someone else is feeling under the weather)
  • Washing our hands frequently
  • Not sharing cups or eating utensils
  • Cleaning our toys regularly
  • Eating a healthy/balanced diet to help boost the immune system
How about you? What are some tips/tricks you use to keep your family safe and healthy this time of year (and all year long)?! We'd love to hear!

I was happy to have had the opportunity to become better informed about RSV prevention. I'll leave you with some 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 lasing through March
  • Certain babies are at an increased risk of developing serious RSV infections, so it's important to speak with a pediatrician to determine if a baby may be high-risk
 You can visit to learn more. You can also follow #RSVProtection on Twitter. 

**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.

  1. iaxess February 12, 2013 at 9:34 AM  

    Cool ^^ Thanks ! :D

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