I became a mom at a very young age. I think my own insecurities made me overly protective of my baby. Looking back, maybe I wasn’t being overly protective after all. There are some real threats to young infants, who are very susceptible to infection in the early weeks of their lives. Contracting something as simple as the common cold can pose a real danger for young babies.
One of the biggest threats to new babies is a very common virus called respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV. I wasn’t aware of this dangerous virus when I had an infant at home, but knowing this am really glad that I was so cautious.
RSV is of great concern because it spreads very easily. The virus can live on surfaces such as door knobs, countertops, toys, and bedding for several hours. It is often spread through touching, hugging and kissing. Because it is contracted so easily, most children get the virus by their second birthday. In older children, RSV normally runs its course with mild symptoms. But in very young babies and premies with certain lung and heart diseases, it can lead to a serious respiratory infection.
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.
Doesn’t knowing this make you want to spend those first few months with your infant in a plastic bubble? It’s not necessary to take such an extreme measure, but there are some simple things that can be done to protect your baby from RSV.
Baby Etiquette Tips to Prevent the Spread of RSV
A few tips to remember when a loved one has a new baby:
- 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!
If you do schedule a visit with a new baby:
- 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.
Please share this post to help spread the word about the risks of RSV. Let’s all do our part to help keep babies healthy! To learn more about RSV, visit www.rsvprotection.com.
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.