This is part of a sponsored collaboration with AstraZeneca and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
When you're a parent the birth of your grandchildren are some of the most amazing moments you will ever have. I have a total of six grandkids now and every time one of them has been born, has been one of the best moments of my life. What a wonderful gift they each were on their birth day, especially after watching and worrying about their moms for 9 months. But no pregnancy, no matter how smooth, is ever easy and it can be hard to just stand by and watch your kids suffer while you can't do much to help. My girls have been like me though and their pregnancies have been relatively easy ones, which we are incredibly thankful for. It is only when a baby decides to come early that it can get worrisome, as was the case with my youngest grandson Jeremiah.
Jeremiah was born three weeks early but the doctors gave him a clean bill of health and he was able to leave the hospital a few days later. While we were super-relieved that he was in good health, there were still some worries that his early arrival caused, like RSV.
What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?
RSV is a common, seasonal virus contracted by nearly 100 percent of infants by the age of 2. RSV occurs in epidemics, typically through fall and winter months November-March.
In many babies, the virus leads to a mild respiratory infection with symptoms similar to the common cold or flu, but in some it can develop into a much more serious infection like severe RSV disease. RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States and causes approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 200 infant deaths each year in the United States.
Which babies are at increased risk of developing severe RSV disease?
While every baby is at risk of contracting RSV, babies born prematurely – earlier than 35 weeks gestation – are at increased risk for developing severe RSV disease. In fact, preterm infants are twice as likely as full-term infants to be admitted to the hospital for RSV-related symptoms, which are very scary statistics.
Why are premature babies at increased risk of contracting RSV?
Because they were not able to fully develop in their mother’s womb, preterm infants are born with underdeveloped lungs, which puts them at increased risk of chronic lung problems and respiratory infections like pneumonia and/or bronchiolitis (swelling of the lower airways).
RSV Signs and Symptoms
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast or troubled breathing
- A bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Gasping for breath
- Spread out nostrils when trying to breathe
- A fever greater than 100.4°F in infants under 3 months
Protect your kids from RSV
Understanding and knowing the facts of RSV can help you be prepared to deal with RSV of just keep an eye out for it if your child is at risk. Knowing the signs of RSV and what to look for can go along way in getting your child the help they need quickly.
Jeremiah had his second birthday in November and did in fact have a bout with RSV when he was smaller. He's also always been very prone to croup and gets very sickly during the colder season. But with good care from his dad, his grandma and grandpa, he is doing very well.
Keeping our family safe and healthy is a parents job and thanks to so much information that is available online, we can be as informed as possible.
Get more information about RSV: www.RSVprotection.com