Winter time is definitely the season for germs. They are everywhere and our kids are kind enough to help spread them around for us. For most of us those germs are an inconvenience, but for some of the tiniest family members these germs can present a serious danger. RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is a virus that can make babies seriously ill and possibly be fatal. We all need to be aware of the dangers of RSV and how to prevent the spread so we can keep all the little ones around us safe.
When my son was only a few weeks old he caught RSV. He was lucky because it didn’t get really bad and he recovered on his own without hospital intervention, but it really opened my eyes to just how easy it is to spread RSV. How did he get it? Most likely his siblings, who were in school. Children in school, preschool, and day care situations increases their exposure to germs, including RSV, and they are easily brought home.
You may think RSV is rare and it won’t happen to you, but actually RSV is very common. Almost every baby will contract RSV by age 2, but only 1/3 of moms say they’ve heard of the virus. We don’t realize that the cold symptoms our kids have actually are RSV. But when an infant, especially those who were premature, get exposed to the virus the result can be dangerous. Serious RSV infection is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.
Because RSV is a virus there is no medication that can treat it once contracted, so the key is in prevention. The virus can live on surfaces such as doorknobs, toys, hands, cell phones, etc for several hours. We need to make sure that we wash hands, bedding, and surfaces often and thoroughly.
The RSV season typically runs from November through March, so during the winter months parents should be especially careful to watch for signs of RSV and take steps to help prevent the spread. Here is a wonderful inforgraphic that is full of great details about RSV:
Even if you don’t have an infant in your home you can still take steps to keep RSV and other germs from spreading to their households. Please visit www.RSVProtection.com and follow #RSVProtection on Twitter for more information. RSV is all around us, especially at this time of year. If we take steps to prevent the spread and keep a close eye out for symptoms we can help keep all those little ones safe and healthy.
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.