I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
World Prematurity Day is November 17th. Thankfully I was blessed to have full term pregnancies, but I have many close friends who experienced delivering a premature baby. One of my friends just delivered her 3rd baby at 34 weeks, after struggling the entire pregnancy with blood pressure issues and a scare at 32 weeks that almost caused an even earlier necessary delivery. Thankfully baby was born with no major complications and only required a few extra days in the hospital. However, there are still scares that lay ahead…
Along with prematurity comes the scare of Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), 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. Preterm infants, however, are born with undeveloped lungs and immature immune systems that put them at heightened risk for developing severe RSV disease, often requiring hospitalization. Preterm babies carry fewer virus-fighting antibodies—a precious gift from mom that all infants need while their own immune systems mature after birth. The RSV season is typically from November through March, though it can vary by geography and year-to-year.
While I was blessed to have my babies all full term, we still experienced the scare that is RSV. When my first 3 kids were little they got sick at the same time, 2 with RSV and one with the same types of symptoms, just classified differently as he was 3 at the time. My other babies were 23 months and only 3 months old. Let me tell you, those were some pretty terrifying times for this mama, and pretty exhausting too! Not only was I afraid for their health and well being, but I was exhausted from nights of being up making sure they were still breathing okay, as well as regular breathing treatments every few hours- exhausting with one child, let alone 3!
If you read the captions you saw that it was 2 years in a row we were hit. Nasty stuff! I’ve been extra careful ever since to be sure that it didn’t happen again. Thankfully my youngest escaped without ever dealing with it, and now we’re past the RSV age and this mama is breathing a huge sigh of relief!
RSV disease 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. It is responsible for one of every 13 pediatrician visits and one of every 38 trips to the ER in children under the age of five, yet despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers have never heard of the virus!
So what do YOU need to know about RSV to keep your little ones safe? First, RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Additionally, the virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. There is no treatment for RSV disease once it’s contracted, so prevention is critical. What can you do to help minimize the spread of RSV disease? Check out the helpful infographic below:
For more information about RSV, check out the RSV Protection website.