This post was sponsored by AstraZeneca as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. #LittleLungs
October is National RSV Awareness Month, and I feel it’s SO important for parents and caregivers to know about RSV and how to help prevent it. Many of us have been impacted personally with RSV, and while I haven’t had life-altering experience with it, I have a friend who has. Shortly after birth, her son contracted RSV and was in the pediatric ICU for almost a week recovering from the illness. It was heart-breaking to see what he had to go through and how it affected my friend and her family. Here’s what you need to know:
What is RSV
RSV stands for respiratory syncytial virus, and it’s a contagious viral disease that affects the lungs. While most children will contract RSV before the age of 2, for some infants and toddlers it can be very serious and even life-threatening. Infants that are premature or have lung or heart disease are at especially high risk for severe RSV.
The virus is very contagious and easily passed between children. If your child contracts it, symptoms usually disappear in about 1-2 weeks. However, they can still spread the virus for 1-3 weeks after recovery! It’s most common between the months of November to March, but it’s present year-round.
Symptoms of RSV
The symptoms of RSV include coughing or wheezing that does not stop, bluish color around the mouth or fingernails (due to low oxygen levels in the blood), fever, rapid or labored breathing and spread-out nostrils or caved-in chest when trying to breathe.
What Can You Do to Prevent the Spread of RSV?
There are several things that children and adults can do to help prevent the spread of the virus:
- wash hands frequently
- keep your infant away from large crowds, other young children and people with colds
- frequently wash your child’s bedding and toys
- do not allow smoking around your child or in your home. Tobacco smoke irritates the fragile airways of babies and can negatively affect the growth of their lungs. This is especially crucial if your baby was born prematurely.
If you have any questions or concerns, or suspect that your infant or toddler may have RSV, contact your healthcare provider right away.
Has your child been affected by RSV?