Preemie Awareness Day was on November 17th, and while RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) will effect nearly 100% of babies by the age of 2, preemies are most at risk because of their underdeveloped lungs and immature immune system.
I never thought our family would be affected by RSV. It can be very serious. Know the facts about RSV.
The RSV season usually occurs from November thru March in the U.S, which is exactly when it hit our family.
RSV was never anything I’d been too terribly concerned about. Of course I’ve heard of RSV and how serious it could be, but never imagined it could affect our family; especially since none of our kids were preemies. My 3rd son, Erik, was born in August of 2007 a week ‘late’, far from being a preemie. Yet that winter, when he was just 4 months old, he and his older sister Brooke, (who had just turned 2 a few weeks prior), got RSV. I remember they were sick and remember being worried that they weren’t getting better, and possible concerns about minor breathing complications but I attributed it to their stuffed up noses- We all know it’s not easy to breathe when your nose is stuffed up! Neither of them had the typical ‘signs’ of major breathing trouble- such as gasping for breath or turning blue- so I wasn’t horribly concerned. However, since they didn’t seem to be getting any better (and I was especially worried since Erik was so little), I ended up calling the doctor and scheduling an appointment for him. My other 2 kids came along with us. The doctor literally took one listen to Erik’s lungs and knew he had RSV. Because Brooke had been sick too, she decided to listen to her lungs and sure enough, she had RSV too. I was terrified! They were so little, and I knew that it could get worse before it got better. Breathing treatments were started immediately to make sure they would work. If they did, we’d go home with breathing machines and meds. If not, we’d be on our way to the hospital. Thankfully both kids responded well to the treatments, and we were sent home with everything we needed. I spent the next few days giving breathing treatments every few hours to 2 kids, (even through the night), and watching closely for any sign that they weren’t improving. They were miserable, and I was exhausted. I was so thankful when they got better, and hoped never to have to face RSV again.
Fast-forward to the next winter. Same signs of sickness, same thing with not seeming to get better, and off to the doctor we went. This time not only did now 1 year old Erik have RSV (again!) and Brooke (now nearly 3) have RSV (again!), but 4 1/2 year old Logan had a form of RSV (same symptoms as RSV but not called RSV because he was over age 2). Now all 3 kids were on breathing treatments. Joy.
It was terrifying enough with my kids having fully developed, healthy lungs and having RSV. I cannot imagine if they had been preemie how much more terrifying it would have been. Remember, the RSV season usually occurs from November thru March in the U.S. Please keep a close watch on your kids this winter. For more information about RSV, check out RSVProtection.com.
I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.