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If you are a mother to young children then you should know about RSV, if you are not sure what I am talking about then now is the time to learn as we enter the worst time of year for RSV (November-March). Unfortunately I have had two infants with RSV but lucky for me both times it was caught early and my fabulous pediatrician was aggressive and proactive and we avoided a hospital stay, not everyone is that lucky.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common seasonal virus, contracted by nearly all children by the age of two, and typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in healthy, full-term babies. In premature babies with underdeveloped lungs and low counts of virus-fighting antibodies a virus that would otherwise be a common cold requires hospitalization.
Symptoms to watch out for in your baby include:
• Persistent coughing or wheezing
• Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
• Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
• Fever [especially if it is over 100.4°F (rectal) in infants under 3 months of age]
In both of my babies who had RSV they started showing cold like symptoms after their siblings had colds. As a rule of thumb if my baby is not improving at all after 3 days with a cold I take them to the doctor just to make sure it has not moved to the lungs. This is not medical advice this is my hyper-vigilant opinion and for me it has paid off as both girls cases of RSV was caught early. We ended up doing breathing treatments that worked and hospitalization was avoided for both girls.
Every time we have had a case of RSV in our house it has shocked me how many moms of tiny babies, even preemies, had never heard of RSV and had no idea to be on the look out for it. RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year. This number should be way less and by being informed and taking steps to prevent RSV it can be less. For more information about RSV please visit www.RSVprotection.com