Saturday, February 2, 2013

Know the Symptoms of RSV and Help Protect Your Child #RSVProtection

I’m sure all parents can agree there is nothing worse than your child being sick. As hard as we try to keep them well, there comes a time whether they must attend daycare or it’s their eventual entrance into kindergarten, that it becomes out of our hands. Kid will be kids and their germs seem to spread at incredible rates. In fact whether it’s five or 50 hours a week, the risks of spending time in a daycare or pre-school setting are the same — increased exposure to contagious germs and viruses. Children’s inborn behavioral habits such as a need for close interpersonal contact and lack of good personal hygiene, combined with an environment that promotes and rewards sharing, make daycare settings an environment for infection spreading. Because their immune systems are not yet fully developed, this is especially worrisome for very pre-term babies in daycare, or with school-aged siblings who bring germs into the home.

I was lucky enough to have hours at work that allowed my husband and me to split our time between work and childcare, leaving us with no need for daycare but I never expected the “punch” my son would take when he entered Kindergarten.  Three more kids later and every new school year is more of the same. We have a happy and healthy summer and one week into the school year and BAM! The sickness begins and it seems to just be passed around until the end of the year – simply dreadful!!

I admit I am a lot more relax now-a-days, and believe I know what warrants a trip to the doctor and what can be taken care of at home. But, I believe that relaxed state only came after four children, many different illnesses and learning what symptoms to watch for that require the intention of a doctor.  I was recently reminded of the importance of monitoring your child’s symptoms when my baby cousin came down with RSV. I’ve spoken of RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus) before as I find it an important topic for all parents to be aware of.

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, 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 (doorknobs, countertops, toys, bedding) for several hours and is often spread through touching, hugging and kissing. Daycare increases this risk of RSV spreading as children are constantly sharing toys, tables and high chairs as well as eating and napping in close quarters.

RSV can range from mild, to serious especially for preemies and high-risk infants - 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. For this reason it is especially important for parents to recognize the signs and symptoms of RSV.

The RSV season typically runs from November through March, so during the winter months parents should be especially careful to watch for signs of RSV. Below are 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 100.4°F in infants less than 3 months of age)

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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 these parents to remember that even a mild case of RSV can be spread to other children, some of whom maybe at high-risk for developing a serious infection from the virus. For this reason, it’s always best to keep a sick child home when possible, to prevent the spread of germs and viruses. 

Please understand 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.) I know it’s much harder to make sure your child’s risk of exposure is kept at a minimum when they are in daycare or school, but maybe if they’re old enough to comprehend you can stress the importance of keeping objects out of their mouth and washing their hands, as well as supplying the teacher with anti-bacterial wipes for help keeping surface germs to a minimum.

This winter season has already been particularly harsh with the flu and stomach bug. What are your tips for preventing illness?

Learn more about RSV at

"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."


Barb W. said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Terrific reminders and information! Forwarded to my daughter to help protect my grand baby.

Pam said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

My niece had this when she was only four weeks old. It was terrifying seeing her little body in the crib. Thanks for the info!

Grace Hodgin said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Always glad to read these types of posts as we need to keep this in mind and know the symptoms.

Mer said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Very helpful! I've found being incredibly diligent about handwashing to be the most effective preventative, plus it sets up a good habit.

Donna George said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Yeah, this is so much worse in preemies. It can be so deadly since they have such immature immune systems.

VickeC said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

thanks for sharing those warning signs,,ive got 11 grandchildren 9 are under the age of 5 an 2 are newborns,so this means a lot to me to know this

Anonymous said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

i've never even heard of this! good advice

Denise Taylor-Dennis said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you for the reminder of how dangerous RSV can be.

MD Kennedy said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'd never heard of this! I have forwarded your post to my step-daughter who has a 2 year-old in daycare...

Karen Glatt said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

RSV is a dangerous virus that can kill small children My friend's child almost died from this! Thanks for posting this information for all mothers and fathers to read about and be aware of.

brich2222 said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

very informative post. We try to make sure everyone washes hands frequently and use lots of lysol spray

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