This is part of a sponsored collaboration with MedImmune and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Are you one of those moms who always asks family and friends to wash their hands before holding your infant baby? Props to you mama! I was the same way with my little ones those first few months of life. I knew how susceptible my newborns were to catching the slightest of colds and sickness. But this is even more so, for preemies!
So I’m here to tell you there’s nothing better you could be doing to help prevent germs from spreading and protect baby from RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), especially as the dreaded cold winter months approach.
What is RSV
RSV is a common seasonal virus, that can cause mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in healthy full-term babies. It is an illness that is contracted by almost ALL children by the age of two.
However, the reason this virus is so serious, is because it is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the US. With an estimated 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 200 infant deaths each year. And for preemies this statistic is much worse – they are twice as likely to be admitted to the hospital for RSV-related symptoms.
RSV is also most prevalent during the winter months when cold-symptoms abound, November through March.
Some of the major symptoms include:
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
- Fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F)
How to Protect Your Baby from RSV
RSV is extremely contagious and is spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. It can also live on surfaces for several hours. Sadly, there is no treatment for the virus making prevention of utmost importance. The most important step new parents can take to minimize the spread of RSV is:
- Wash their hands and ask others to do the same
- Keep toys, clothes, blanket and sheets clean
- Avoid crowds and other young children during RSV season
- Never let anyone smoke around your baby
In addition, anyone who is sick (or sick and recovering) should stay away from baby!
You should never feel uncomfortable for asking friends and family of all ages to wash their hand when handling your baby. In fact, a little encouragement may be needed considering that a staggering 33% of mothers are unaware of RSV!
To learn more about this serious disease please talk to your pediatrician and click HERE. You can also print out the below infographic and share with friends on social media to help spread the word to other new parents!