Did you know that RSV is a seasonal disease like the flu? It is the most prevalent from November through March and is so contagious that most children catch it before the age of 2. It makes me wonder how many colds or sniffles my kids have had that may have been mild RSV and with a baby due at the end of the RSV season I know that I need to be particularly cautious during her early weeks of life. I have known infants who have had RSV, but did not realize how common mild cases are for children of all ages and that it was so contagious.
November 17th is Preemie Awareness Day and as we enter RSV and flu season it is important that we are aware about how serious RSV can be on a premature newborn. Being pregnant with my third child and having multiple friends give birth to preemies it definitely caught my attention. What may manifest itself as a mild cold for a toddler or young child may cause severe or even deadly infections in a preemie or newborn’s lungs. It is impossible to keep our little ones from being exposed to germs especially if they have siblings in school, but there is a lot we can do to help prevent the spread of this disease.
Prevention is Key
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily though 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 us 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
As we prepare to take a journey overseas to visit my family for a few weeks, we will be exposed to a lot of people and new germs so I need to be particularly cautious and be sure to keep our hands clean. The last thing I want is to be traveling with sick kids! I like to keep a small spray bottle of CleanWell Hand Sanitizer in my purse for traveling and when we are out of the house, because it is compact, alcohol free and lasts a long time. It is kid safe for your toddlers and young children and the Orange Vanilla scent makes me feel happy.
With the weather getting colder and holiday gatherings just a few days and weeks ahead, let us all be a little more cautious. Visiting a friend or family’s new baby over the holidays? Make sure to wash your hands and have your children wash their hands before visiting with them, even if you do not think you have any germs to spread. I know that this is usually a no-brainer when visiting a friend or family member and their new bundle at the hospital, but I know I am guilty of getting a little lax as infants get older or when in other social settings. The more efforts we make to keep from acquiring or spreading germs the better for everyone.
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.