I previously wrote about my scare that I had with Hayley and RSV, or respiratory syncytial 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 season usually begins in November and lasts through March. We were very lucky that she developed a very mild case and we didn’t have to experience any dire consequences of the disease. I was very worried after she had this mild bout of RSV at 6 weeks old. I was scared out of my mind of her having another bout of RSV. In the back of my head, I was thinking, “What happens if she gets RSV again? What happens if this time, it is much more serious?” At around 6 weeks, I began to really make sure that I was taking the necessary precautions with Hayley ,so she would not get sick again. Yes, I was that neurotic mom who made anyone who even touched her feet, wash their hands. I had purell in every facet of my house. When Zane came along, I became even more nervous. I knew that I had a germs all around him, because Hayley was attending school now, and along with that, brings sickness.
(picture taken with permission)Newborns are so fragile and they don’t have the immune systems, that we as adults have. Newborns that are born prematurely are especially susceptible to diseases including RSV, being one of the biggest culprits. It is our job as parents to take the necessary precautions to assure that our infants avoid serious illnesses. If you are not familiar with RSV, it is a common, easily spread virus that most children before 2 will contract. RSV with sometime resonate as the common cold, but more severe symptoms can lead to a serious lung infection. One should call their doctor immediately if they see their children wheezing that is uninterrupted, fast breathing/or gasping for breath, spread out nostrils and/or caved in chest when trying to breathe, a bluish color around the fingernails, and a high fever (anything above 100.3).
What I learned from going through the experience with Hayley, was to make sure to limit the visitors when they are infants. I was so excited and wanted people to come to our house when Zane was born, but I knew that limiting the visits at home would decrease the germs coming into the house. Once I allowed people to visit, I made sure they had washed thoroughly before they even step foot near my baby. Again perhaps I sound neurotic, but in my mind, this was the best way to assure germs stay away form my small little baby. Germs spread so easily and with a 7 lb. baby, they don’t have the resistance to fight these bugs. I also tried my hardest to keep Hayley away when she was sick, although this was hard at times.
Since there is no treatment for RSV, prevention is key. I have attached a letter with a few tips in there for the new moms out there. Feel free to use the letter when a relative is trying to barge their way into your house when they are sick:
*****[Baby] was born [prematurely or with X condition], which puts [him/her] at an increased risk of developing a serious infection from many common, seemingly harmless, germs and viruses. For example, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an extremely common virus that all babies contract by their second birthday. Most infants have the immune system and lung strength to fight off the virus, but in high-risk babies, it can cause a very serious infection. In fact, serious RSV infection is the leading cause of infant hospitalization.
Because [Baby] is so vulnerable to RSV and other illnesses, it’s important to us to avoid exposing [him/her] to these germs. Viruses like RSV are highly contagious and can live for hours on objects like countertops, doorknobs and toys. Frankly, the idea that visitors may unknowingly bring in these dangerous germs is very scary to a new parent!
So I’m asking that you please be patient with me and my precautions to keep [Baby] safe. Please contact me before dropping by for a visit, and know that while I hate turning you away or asking you not to come over, it’s always for a good reason and never personal.
And when we’re eventually ready for visitors, please remember that prevention is key to keeping [Baby] safe.
*****Please refrain from visiting when you are sick or if you’ve been around someone ill.****
- Please make sure your clothes are clean and you haven’t smoked or been around smokers recently. Smoke can be very dangerous for underdeveloped lungs.
- Let’s wait until [Baby] is strong enough to be introduced to your little one(s), You know I love seeing [him/her], but toddlers and school-aged children are very likely carriers of germs and viruses.
- Wash your hands immediately when you come into the house, or sanitize during your visit – this is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs. Wash, wash, wash!
I hope this helps to explain a bit better why I’ve been keeping [Baby] in and, often, visitors out. I appreciate your understanding and look forward to seeing [Baby] grow stronger and healthier everyday with your help!
RSV is a very serious condition. Lets help spread the word about RSV to the new moms out there. Please check out RSVProtection.com for more additional information.
*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. As always, all my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.