This post was sponsored as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed are my own.
From the moment we learn we’re expecting a baby, we do everything we possibly can to protect them. As parents, we want our little ones to be happy and healthy, and we take the necessary steps to ensure they thrive each day.
One way parents can feel empowered and confident when it comes to their child’s health, is to be educated about common childhood illnesses.
October is RSV Awareness Month, and we’re helping to keep babies safe by spreading the word about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Shortly after bringing my 4th son home from the hospital, he began to show signs of RSV. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the virus, or the potentially devastating impact it could have on my newborn’s health. Thankfully, after consulting our amazing pediatrician, we were able to diagnose that it was RSV, and manage the symptoms.
My son made a speedy recovery, but it was a terrifying experience to endure. Witnessing my baby, who was just a few weeks old at the time, struggle to breathe, is something I will never forget. Now, I know more about RSV, and I’m on a mission to educate others.
This common seasonal virus is highly contagious, and affects nearly 100% of infants by the time they reach their second birthday. RSV occurs in epidemics, and is most prevalent from November through March.
RSV Signs & Symptoms
Most often, RSV leads to a mild respiratory infection in babies, with symptoms that mimic the common cold or flu. In some cases though, it can develop into a much more serious issue, such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia.
Parents should look for the following signs and symptoms of RSV:
- Coughing or wheezing, that does not stop
- Fast or troubled breathing, such as gasping for breath
- Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Unusual tiredness or lethargy
- Refusing to breastfeed or bottle-feed
- Fever, especially above 100.4 in babies less than 3 months old
Who Is Most At Risk For RSV?
Babies who were born prematurely (before 35 weeks gestational age), children younger than 2 years old who were born with heart or lung disease, infants with a weakened immune system, or newborns under 10 weeks of age are most at risk for developing RSV.
There is no current treatment option available for RSV, which is why it’s so important for parents and caregivers to learn the signs and symptoms of the disease, and how to take preventive measures. Talking with your child’s pediatrician, to determine if your baby may be at high risk for severe RSV, is recommended. Here are some simple ways to help protect your child’s little lungs, from severe RSV disease:
- Ask visitors to wash their hands before interacting with your children
- Wash toys and surfaces frequently
- Don’t let anyone smoke in your home or near your kids
- Keep babies away from people who may be sick
- Avoid large crowds, especially during RSV season (November – March)
Does your family have experience with RSV? Feel free to share your story in the comments below.