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RSV Prevention and Preemie Awareness Day (Nov. 17)

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Darcy & Aerissa

Today at the Nursery, we want to take a moment to bring awareness to the dangers of RSV to premature babies. Their lungs aren’t mature enough to fight this off and a lot of people aren’t aware of how serious this can be. I didn’t know much about RSV until about 8 years ago when one of my nephews was born premature. I still didn’t fully understand what RSV was at the time, but I remember having to wash my hands before holding him. I also remember something stuck on their fridge about it.

Even though my own daughter was full term and considered healthy, I was not going to put her at risk. It was advised by hospital staff that people wash/sanitize their hands before touching babies anyway, so I was a stickler in the early days. I requested everyone to wash their hands before first handling Riss and after the first washing to use hand sanitizer. Man, we had sanitizer in practically every room of the house!

RSV Quick Facts:

  • RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.
  • RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
  • Certain regions have longer RSV seasons than others, with the season beginning as early as July (e.g., Florida) or ending in April.
  • Despite its prevalence, one-third of mothers have never heard of RSV.

 

Prevention is Key:

There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take the following preventive steps to help protect their child:

  • Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
  • Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid large crowds and people who may be sick
  • Never let anyone smoke near your baby
  • Speak with your child’s doctor if you believe he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available

 

Be Aware of Symptoms:

Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:

  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
  • Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
  • High fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Difficulty feeding

 

To learn more about RSV, visit www.rsvprotection.com. For more about the specialized health needs of preterm infants, visit www.preemievoices.com.

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Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate. Facts and hand washing image provided in order to share this important information with you.

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