Thursday, November 6, 2014

RSV & Preemie's: Ways To Keep Our Babies and Preemie's Healthy. #RSVawareness #PreemieProtection

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Medimmune and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Finding out I was pregnant with my third baby gave me butterflies. Especially when I found out it was a GIRL! I was so excited about having a little bundle of joy in my arms at the end of my pregnancy. You start making plans in your head about all the things that you will do with your baby and then the worry sets start hearing horror stories about all the illnesses that are being passed on to babies. You worry about what could go wrong during your pregnancy. What if I deliver early? What if there's a complication during my pregnancy? What if....what if??! I like to be aware and educated on germs and diseases that are going on around me. Maybe it's the nurse in me? I'm also a SUPER PARANOID MOM. It's important for me to do whatever it takes to keep my baby healthy.
On November 17th it will be Medimmune/RSV Awareness & Prematurity Day. It's important to be informed about RSV (Respiratory Synctial Virus) and Prematurity. Especially if you or someone you know has a little baby that is at high risk of developing RSV. Many parents are not aware of the risks of premature birth. Prematurity is defined as being born at or before 37 weeks gestation. Most pregnant woman do not ask their healthcare providers if their baby is at risk. Maybe because of fear? Who knows? Babies born prematurely are not born with the full amount of infection-fighting antibodies that are transferred in utero. This can lead to illnesses and infections, especially during the winter season. One illness at the top of the totem pole is RSV.
RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies in the U.S. during the first year of their life. Your baby a higher risk if they are born prematurely. 125,000 will contract RSV and 400 infants will die from it each year. That's a high number! That results in 10 times more infant deaths than the flu. So sad.

Typically, the virus will cause a mild respiratory infection with symptoms that are similar to the cold or flu, but you will want to watch for those symptoms if they worsen and become severe. Do not ignore your baby's symptoms if:
  • Coughing or wheezing does not stop.
  • Your baby has fast or troubled breathing.
  • You notice spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe.
  • You see bluish color around the mouth or fingernails.
  • They have a fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F (rectal) in infants under 3 months of age).
Take your baby to the emergency room as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.
RSV typically occurs during the month of November through March, but it can vary by geography and from year to year. 100 percent of infants will contract RSV by the age of 2.  Unfortunately, more than half a million babies will be born prematurely every year. Parents with preemies must be aware of the dangers that RSV presents to their babies. There is no treatment for RSV so prevention is critical. Here are ways you can reduce to chances of your baby contracting RSV:
  • Wash your hands and ask others to do the same.
  • Keep toys, clothes, blankets, and sheets clean.
  • Avoid crowds and being around people, including young children, who may be sick during RSV season.
  • Never let people smoke around your baby.
  • Ask your child’s pediatrician if he or she may be at high-risk and ways you can protect a high-risk baby.
One third of moms are not familiar with RSV. Spread the word! You could potentially save a life! We want to protect our babies, especially when they are born with immature lungs and fragile immune systems. We want healthy and happy babies! 
Speak to your pediatrician to determine if your baby is at high risk for RSV. Ask your healthcare provider what steps you can take if your baby is at risk. Check out to learn more about RSV and prevention. You can also hashtag #RSVawareness and #PreemieProtection on social media to spread the word about RSV. Fortunately, my baby girl was not born prematurely, but I have seen kids that were born before 37 weeks gestation and contracted RSV. It's not fun. Either way, we're still not out of the clear! Take care of your little ones! 

Fact: RSV 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. 

Let's keep the numbers down by staying informed! 
  Have you had a child that has suffered with RSV? Do you know someone that is at high risk? What's your experience with premature babies and RSV? I'd love to hear your stories....

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