Protecting Preemies: RSV Facts All Parents Should Know
Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with MedImmune and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Today, November 17th, is World Prematurity Day. Most of you don’t know this, but before I was born my mom had a baby who was born prematurely. He died after two weeks. I think about him often, and I have often wanted to write about him, but I never have been able to because I get very emotional, especially now that I am a mom. So today, on World Prematurity Day, in his memory, I want to talk about something that affects almost all children by age 2, but which preemies are at a higher risk to contract: RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus.
I was lucky that my son was not born prematurely, but each year 13 million babies in the world are born prematurely. I believe information is power. Informed parents are empowered parents. So even if your baby was full-term, please read and share this information! You never know who it can help!
What is RSV?
- 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.
- RSV occurs in epidemics each year, typically from November through March, though it can vary by geography and year-to-year.
- 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 200 infant deaths each year.
- Despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers have never heard of the virus
Why Are Preemies At Higher Risk for RSV?
RSV affects nearly all babies, but the difference between full-term babies and preemie babies is that preemies are twice as likely to be admitted to the hospital because of RSV. RSV is the most common cause of hospitalization for babies under 1.
What Are the Symptoms of Severe RSV Disease?
- 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)
For more information on RSV, please check out (and share!) this great infographic and visit RSVProtection.com!
I’d love to hear from you! What tips do you have to prevent RSV? Has your child suffered from RSV? Share below, or via Twitter! Use hashtags #RSVawareness and #PreemieProtection to share this post! (It’s good karma!) Let’s help parents be informed and empowered!