I’ve always been an overprotective mother going right back to when my girls were born. Bridget was my most recent child and I remember being very conscious about keeping her environment clean. I always cringed when someone would ask to hold her and I didn’t know when they last washed their hands or if they just had a cigarette. Of course, I thought that was just me being hypersensitive, but I now know that I was right to be vigilant in protecting my baby from germs.
One of the biggest threats to babies is something called RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). I’d never heard of RSV until now, but I think it’s important information to share with everyone whether you are a new parent or someone visiting a young infant. Since babies (especially preemies), are very susceptible to infection for the first few weeks after they are born, it’s important to keep their environment as germ free as possible.
RSV is actually very common and can be spread easily since it can live for hours on surfaces (like doorknobs, furniture). It can even be spread through touching, hugging and kissing! In fact, my daughters more than likely already had RSV since almost 100% contract it by the time they are age 2. It may not have been that big of deal to them, BUT it poses a serious risk to very young babies (especially preemies) and can lead to a serious respiratory infection. In fact, RSV is the cause of 500 infant deaths each year!
The symptoms of serious RSV infection are:
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
- Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
- High fever; extreme fatigue
- Difficulty feeding
Make sure to contact your doctor immediately if your baby is experiencing these symptoms
If you are a parent of a new baby, it’s important to be aware of RSV and to be careful when having the baby around visitors. Even if you don’t have a new baby but are planning to visit one, you should take extra precautions to avoid potential exposure. These tips from RSV Protection are very helpful:
Wash your hands frequently—upon entering the home and especially prior to holding the baby. Parents, and the new baby, will appreciate it.
Leave toddlers at home, especially during the winter months. Young children, especially if they attend day care or preschool, often carry germs and viruses, like RSV, that are easily spread.
Call before you visit. New parents need time to set up a routine and bond. By giving them time to do so before you visit, you are respecting the new family.
Postpone a visit if you feel that you may be getting sick, have recently been ill or exposed to illness.
Remember that parents know best. If you feel they are being overprotective or overly cautious, just consider that only they know what’s best for the health of their new son or daughter.
Offer to do something to ease their responsibilities as they spend time as a family, such as laundry, cooking or dishes. Sleep-deprived moms and dads will appreciate your help!
Please share this post to help spread the word about RSV and keep these tips in mind on your next visit with a young baby. These simple measures could potentially save a life!
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.