Thursday, January 6, 2011

RSV--Be prepared

Dominque and Monique born at 28 weeks--weighing 2 pounds

What is RSV and how can I protect my child from getting it?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects almost all children at least once before they are 2 years old. Most of the time this virus only causes minor cold-like symptoms. However, for some babies infection can be more dangerous.
For certain infants who are extremely preterm (infants born before 32 weeks of pregnancy) or who are born with severe heart disease or severe lung disease, RSV infection can be especially serious. Preterm infants often have underdeveloped lungs and may have difficulty fighting an RSV infection once they become infected.

There are important steps you can take to prevent exposure to RSV and other viruses, especially in the first few months of your child's life. These precautions include: FOR ALL CHILDREN , not just premature infants...

•Make sure everyone washes their hands before touching your baby.
•Keep your baby away from anyone who has a cold, fever, or runny nose.
•Keep your baby away from crowded areas like shopping malls.
•Keep your baby away from tobacco smoke. Parents should not expose their infants and young children to secondhand tobacco smoke, which increases the risk of and complications from severe viral respiratory infections.
•For high-risk infants, participation in child care should be restricted during RSV season whenever possible.
•All high-risk infants and their contacts should be immunized against influenza beginning at 6 months of age.
Call your healthcare provider right away if your baby has any of these symptoms:
•Fever. In an infant younger than 3 months of age, a fever greater than 100.4° F (rectal) is cause for concern
•Persistent coughing
•Rapid breathing
•Problems breathing or gasping for breath
•Blue color of the lips or around the mouth
You should consult with your pediatrician regarding specific details on who is at highest risk. There are many resources to find out more about RSV--here are a few links below!
Dominique and Monique now at 14 years of age--healthy, happy and strong young teenagers! (and children of Nicole--a member of our front staff)

Parts of article from the AAP, and

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