Learn about RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and how to keep your babies safe.
I’ve been thinking a lot about keeping my family healthy lately! January brought a stomach bug and strep throat to our house – it’s just that time of year. I wrote about RSV before, and I’m talking about it again because it’s a topic that I really want to raise awareness of.
What is RSV?
In most people, Respiratory syncytial virus looks like the common cold, but for babies it gets dangerous quickly, leading to over 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths every year. Two years ago, I watched a friend’s baby spend two weeks in the hospital fighting this virus, and earlier this month it made my four-month-old nephew very sick. He escaped the hospital, but only through aggressive medication. Nearly every child will have RSV by the time they turn two years old, but only 1/3 of moms say they have heard of this virus.
Here are some symptoms of RSV that parents should watch for:
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast, difficult, or gasping breathing
- blue-tinted lips, mouth, or under fingernails
How to Prevent RSV
There isn’t a treatment that specifically targets RSV, but there are things you can do to prevent it – things that will keep your entire family healthier:
- Wash hands frequently
- Wash toys, clothes, and bedding often
- Keep babies away from crowds and people who are sick
- Keep children who are sick home whenever possible
We follow these tips, and – even though we have had a couple illnesses at home this month, so far we have escaped the entire family getting sick every time. I give my kids hand sanitizer as they get in the car after school – we wash hands at home, but this keeps some germs from reaching my house in the first place. We also run a humidifier in the house, and emphasize hand-washing.
You can learn more about RSV by visiting the RSV Protection site. What are your best tips for keeping healthy all year round?
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.
Share comments and feedback below, on my Facebook page, or by tagging me on Instagram. Sign up for my newsletter to receive book recommendations, crafts, activities, and parenting tips in your inbox every week.