***Disclosure: 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. ***
World Prematurity Day is on November 17, 2014. Every year I try to share about prematurity and RSV. Isabella was born almost a month premature. They had tried to stop my labor many times, but she was stubborn and wanted to come. I guess she thought she’d be our little “firework” and be born on Independence Day. I don’t remember much about the actual delivery bc she started going in distress and they took me and performed a quick c-section. She was whisked right away to the NICU as soon as she was born because her lungs were not fully developed. At this point my poor husband was standing in the hallway alone and nervous. They wouldn’t let him go with Isabella and they wouldn’t let him back in with me. I can’t imagine.
I didn’t get to hold her for a few days. I remember how teeny tiny she was. She had to go under an oxy hood for a few weeks to strengthen her lungs. Wasn’t she just the cutest? I kept saying she was getting her first tan under the lights. Gabriel had just turned 4 but he was sooo excited to become a big brother and proceeded to call her “his little angel”.
Once we were home the Dr. had us watch out for the symptoms of RSV because she was at risk. Luckily she never got it and she made a full recovery. To look at her now you would never know she was a preemie. Reminds you how wonderful miracles are. We were so young and had no idea beforehand what RSV was. It wasn’t like the flu where you knew the symptoms, etc. I try to let all new mothers know about RSV as a result of our close call. Education and awareness are the keys to preventing RSV so every one of us can help get the message out.
Now you can look at her and never know she had problems or was premature. We were definately lucky and blessed that she never caught RSV.
RSV Quick Facts
- RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, and severe RSV disease causes up to 10 times as many infant deaths each year as the flu.
- RSV is most prevalent during the winter months. The CDC has defined the “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
- In addition to prematurity, common risk factors include low birth weight, certain lung or heart diseases, a family history of asthma and frequent contact with other children.
Prevention is Key
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Since there’s no treatment for RSV, parents should 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 are or have been sick
- Never let anyone smoke near your baby
- Speak with your child’s doctor if he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available
Know the Symptoms
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
- Severe coughing, wheezing or rapid gasping breaths
- Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
- High fever and extreme fatigue