RSV Awareness & Tips For Protecting Baby From RSV

I remember bring my first son, Josiah, home from the hospital. It was such an exciting time in our lives, though we seriously had no idea what to expect. We were sent home with copious amounts of antibacterial hand gel and told to make everyone wash hands before touching the baby. I knew to keep baby away from germs and that he was more susceptible to sickness in the first few weeks of life , but beyond that I was completely clueless about how serious it is. I honestly was not at all educated about respiratory syncytial virus(RSV).
The day Liam was born. He was so tiny and needed help breathing.
Two years later little Liam arrived in this world 5 weeks early. His lungs were unfortunately underdeveloped, so he was intubated and kept in the hospital for about two weeks until he was strong enough to breath on his own. During this time, both my husband and I were required to take several parenting classes before bringing him home. This is when we first really learned about RSV and how dangerous it can be for babies and especially preemies. It is such a common and dangerous virus that spreads easily and can live pretty much everywhere and spreads through contact. Because of this, almost 100% of children contract RSV by their second birthday! One of the preemies already had RSV, too, which made it even more important for us to take all the precautions. In older children the symptoms of RSV are similar to a cold or flu, so not as dangerous, but for young babies, preemies and those with certain lung and heart diseases it can lead to extremely serious respiratory infections.

For this reason, we were given advice on several different occasions, including during the parenting classes about taking precautions against germs and RSV for our preemie. There are many easy ways to keep those germs to a minimum during those first weeks and it is of utmost importance to heed this advice for the sake of your own baby. Seeing a baby in the hospital with RSV was heartbreaking because you could see and hear just how sick they were. Believe me, you do NOT want this for your own baby, so without further ado, here are some suggestions for proper baby etiquette when bringing baby home from the hospital!
Our little man at home and growing strong!
A few tips to remember when a loved one has a new baby:
  • Call before you visit. New parents need time to set up a routine and bond. By giving them time to do so before you visit, you are respecting the new family.
  • Postpone a visit if you feel that you may be getting sick, have recently been ill or exposed to illness.
  • Remember that parents know best. If you feel they are being overprotective or overly cautious, just consider that only they know what’s best for the health of their new son or daughter.
  • Offer to do something to ease their responsibilities as they spend time as a family, such as laundry, cooking or dishes. Sleep-deprived moms and dads will appreciate your help!

If you do schedule a visit with a new baby: 
  • Wash your hands frequently—upon entering the home and especially prior to holding the baby. Parents, and the new baby, will appreciate it.
  • Leave toddlers at home, especially during the winter months. Young children, especially if they attend day care or preschool, often carry germs and viruses, like RSV, that are easily spread.
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.
  • There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take preventive steps to help protect their child (e.g., wash hands, toys, bedding frequently; avoid crowds and cigarette smoke).
  • 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.

To learn more about RSV, visit www.rsvprotection.com.  

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.


Mimi B said...

Wow, my kids never had RSV and after reading all of this, I'm very thankful for that! Sounds scary!

Eco Baby Mama Drama said...

My goodness I just want to scoop Liam up and cuddle him! It must have been so hard for you not to be able to take him home with you right away! I just learned about RSV recently and am so thankful my boys never had close calls with it. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences, hugs :)

Amy said...

Thankfully lil C didnt have RSV... Thank you so much for all the information about it!

MommyFerg02 said...

Great information! My youngest son had RSV at 2 months and it was very scary!

Carolyn Colley said...

Oh, the first picture makes me sad, it reminds me of my grandson, he didn't have this but he was born with a heart defect, had a shunt put in his heart when he was 2 weeks old, at 6-months, had a heart-cath to see if the arteries were big enough to have open-heart surgery and at 9-months he had the open-heart surgery. He's 3 now & doing great, but that little fellow sure went through it, he had 4 heart defects & may have to have the surgery again in the future.

Dianna said...

Omg! we went through this with one of our sons-Dustin he was about 3wks old--scariest thing I ever went threw--he was one sick little guy-- You sure can't tell it now--but he always gets colds easily so I watch that real close

Teri H said...

Fantastic post. Thank you so much for sharing this information. We have been lucky to not have to deal with RSV with our children but have friends and family that have. It is a serious issue and I am happy to see bloggers get out their to educate parents.

Kasee said...

My daughter was born 5 weeks early. We were lucky, though - she was perfectly healthy and just needed help keeping her body temperature up. Ironically, she's been my healthiest child!! All 3 of her brothers have asthma. My firstborn caught RSV and developed bronchiolitis at 3 months old. And my youngest was hospitalized TWICE with RSV. After spending 5 days in the hospital at 4 months old, it still took several months for Reed to be "healthy" again. He grew, hitting 20 pounds at only 4 1/2 months old, but his lungs were a weakness that was hard to overcome. At 18 months old, I rushed him to the ER. They told me that they were just learning that babies can get RSV a second time - and he had it again. 5 more days in the hospital. Since RSV is a virus, it can mutate. And immune systems that are already weakened from fighting asthma and the germs that older siblings bring home from school make little ones more susceptible. I am a compulsive hand washer and I insisted that everyone wash their hands before going near baby, but sometimes it's just not enough. RSV is scary. I truly feel for parents watching their children battle it, because I've been there - more times than I would have liked.

sueparks2003 said...

Such a sweetie in his little green diapee! I am so glad to see bloggers using education to teach mom's and others about RSV. My 4th child child was the first to get it and I hadn't heard of it. I'm surprised I wasn't told about it since he went into respiratory arrest at 5 hrs old and had to be placed in an incubator and like Liam stay until he could do well on his own. I hope your little guy is doing just great now :)
Gladys P

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