Lets Talk RSV Awareness and Prematurity!
This sweetie pie was born at 34 weeks. He spent some days in NICU. As a mom of a premature baby I wanted to tell you share some information on RSV and prematurity. Worldwide each year 13 million babies are born prematurely. The current rate of prematurity in the United States is 12.2 percent - one of the highest rates of preterm birth in the world.
Preemies often have special health needs. Preemies are very susceptible to illnesses and infections exspecially during the winter months. November 17th is World Prematurity Day . Let's become more aware of how we can protect these babies!
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RSV: A Risk to Preemies
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common seasonal virus, contracted by nearly all children by the age of two, and typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in healthy, full-term babies. Preterm infants, however, are born with undeveloped lungs and immature immune systems that put them at heightened risk for developing severe RSV disease, often requiring hospitalization.
· RSV infection is more likely to root in premature lungs where developing airways are narrowed and especially fragile
· Preterm babies carry fewer virus-fighting antibodies—a precious gift from mom that all infants need while their own immune systems mature after birth
Key RSV Facts:
· RSV occurs in epidemics each year, typically from November through March, though it can vary by geography and year-to-year
· RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year
· RSV disease is responsible for one of every 13 pediatrician visits and one of every 38 trips to the ER in children under the age of five
· Despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers have never heard of the virus
Learn the Symptoms of Severe RSV Disease:
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
· Persistent coughing or wheezing
· Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
· Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
· Fever [especially if it is over 100.4°F (rectal) in infants under 3 months of age]
How Can I Help Protect My Baby From RSV?
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Additionally, the virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. There is no treatment for RSV disease once it’s contracted, so prevention is critical. To help minimize the spread of RSV disease, all parents should:
· Wash their hands and ask others to do the same
· Keep toys, clothes, blanket and sheets clean
· Avoid crowds and other young children during RSV season
· Never let anyone smoke around your baby
· Steer clear of people who are sick or who have recently been sick
Premature Babies and RSV awareness are near and dear to my heart. If you or someone you know has a small child or is pregnant please share this message with them. And as a mom I would just like to say if you are really unsure or questioning if your baby is OK just take them in to the Doctor and make sure. It is always better to be safe.