**I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MedImmune. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.**
I am super cautious about cleanliness and germs these days with an infant in the house, and I’ll tell you why. Aside from the usual concerns about newborns and germs, I had a bad experience that I want to make sure not to repeat. I’d also like to make sure others do not have to go through what I did as a new mother. It is the worst fear of a mother of a newborn for their baby to get sick as you are a nervous wreck about everything to begin with!
This task of avoiding germs is difficult with baby Taylors’ two older siblings running around, but I try to reinforce things like washing their hands frequently and covering their mouth when they cough as much as I can. I would never want to go through what I went through with Hayley when she was just three months old again. Baby Taylor just turned four months and I am a fanatic about keeping her healthy. At first with Hayley I thought it was just a regular baby cold, but when she broke a fever and her breathing seemed a bit strained I took her right in to the pediatrician. They told me she had RSV. I had never even heard of RSV, so I had no idea how dangerous it could be. Apparently I’m not alone! Many parents have never heard of it and are unaware of the symptoms to watch for. Unfortunately, RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States. There are approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 200 infant deaths each year resulting from the disease so is important to know more about it and what we can do as parents to prevent it.
RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is a highly contagious, common virus for kids to contract. Most children under the age of 2 contract RSV but symptoms are not severe to mimic anything more than the common cold. However, when symptoms persist, doctor attention should be sought out immediately. Symptoms generally include coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F [rectal] in infants under 3 months of age), and sometimes a bluish color around the month or fingernails. Babies born prematurely are especially susceptible to RSV, and twice as likely to be hospitalized for problems relating to the virus. Unfortunately it can become quite serious for them and can sometimes result in death.
November 17th is World Prematurity Day, and RSV is one of the issues parents of premature babies need to be aware of. Since there is no treatment for RSV, the best approach is prevention by keeping young babies, especially preemies away from anyone who is sick obviously, but also washing hands, and keeping them in clean surroundings. I am a fanatic with making sure all my children wash their hands before touching baby Taylor. Also, when they have colds, I try to make sure they stay away from the baby, although this can be challenging in and of itself. I also try my best to avoid crowds during RSV season, make sure anyone who is sick outside my immediate family does not enter my house, and of course never let anyone who has smoked touch my baby, as this adds heightened risks.
Watching my tiny little three-month-old struggle with RSV was heartbreaking for me, I’ll never forget looking into those sweet tiny eyes knowing she had no idea what was going on. We know we were so lucky that she recovered quickly. I felt terrible as a mom that I did not know what she had or what to look for, or that RSV was even an issue for babies. Whenever I have the opportunity with other moms to raise awareness about RSV I feel like it is important for me to do so. Maybe it can prevent another mom from having to go through the same frightening scenario that I did.
To find out out more information on RSV, tips on dealing with this virus, and other parents stories, visit www.RSVprotection.com today! Make sure to keep yourself aware during RSV season and beyond. After all, early diagnosis is key, so know the symptoms and keep yourself and your children healthy today!