This is just a reminder that it’s RSV season and you’ll want to keep your eyes open for symptoms. Most kids get respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by the age of two (it’s incredibly contagious) and while it’s usually not too serious for a healthy baby, it can be quite threatening to a premature infant and scary for a parent.
RSV usually causes mild cold-like symptoms (coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever) that go away on their own in about 10 days to two weeks. Most babies with RSV do not become seriously ill, but a few become very sick. RSV is the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under the age of one. They may need to be treated in the hospital with oxygen. In some cases, the baby will need bronchodilators (drugs that help open up breathing tubes) and antiviral drugs. Click on this link to read more about symptoms and when to call your baby’s doctor.
If your baby was born prematurely (too early), or has lung or heart disease, talk to your health care provider about ways to help prevent RSV. Babies who are at highest risk from RSV (including babies born at or before 32 weeks of pregnancy) may benefit from medication that helps prevent the infection. This medication is called palivizumab (Synagis). It is given in monthly injections during the fall and winter months.
You can help protect your baby from RSV by:
• Keeping him away from people who are sneezing or coughing
• Making sure everyone who touches the baby has clean hands
• Keeping your baby away from crowds of people
• Not allowing anyone to smoke near your baby
For more information, visit RSV Protection.
Note: The March of Dimes does not endorse specific brands or products.