This post was sponsored by AstraZeneca as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Did you know that October is RSV Awareness Month? As the mom of two premature children, I am very much aware.
RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is a common seasonal virus that usually appears between November and April. RSV affects the lungs and breathing passages. The symptoms mimic a common cold and most children will have RSV at least once by the time they turn two.
RSV is also the leading cause of infant hospitalization during the first year of life. But that doesn’t mean that you should isolate your child or not go anywhere during this season. That would just be crazy!
RSV often starts with a runny nose, coughing and low-grade fever, but as the infection progresses, it may cause breathing problems or wheezing, irritability or restlessness and poor appetite.
Preventing infection is the best way to protect preemies and high-risk babies, such as those with congenital heart or lung disease or a compromised immune system, from the potentially dangerous effects of RSV and other respiratory illnesses. But these means aren’t just limited to premature or high risk infants, of course.
Anything that a parent can do to help protect their child will go a long way.
To reduce the risk of severe RSV infection, parents can decrease their babies’ exposure to respiratory viruses by:
* Always washing their hands before holding their child, and insisting that others do, too;
* Washing babies’ toys, clothes, play areas and bedding often;
* Not sharing personal items (pacifiers, cups, forks, spoons, towels, washcloths);
* Keeping babies away from anyone with a cold or the flu, and avoiding crowded areas and day care during RSV season; and
* Never letting anyone smoke around the baby.
A pediatrician can provide medicine that may help protect babies against severe RSV infection. Both of my older children received the RSV vaccine as many premature infants do.
The best thing you have as parents, is your common sense. Trust your instincts and let that guide you during RSV season and throughout the year.