Let’s Educate Ourselves About RSV

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with MedImmune and Latina Bloggers Connect.

 

I’ve been a mother for ten years now and for the past decade, I have struggled to understand why I see children who are merely days old out and about in the community. I am not judging anyone here and I know we, as parents, all have our own way of raising our children BUT babies are new to this world and are trying to adjust to being out of the womb leaving them susceptible to all kinds of things! Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is so contagious that I did NOT want anyone to even come near my newborn baby. In fact, when my mother-in-law came from the Dominican Republic, I sent her to visit my brother-in-law instead! At the time, I didn’t know much about RSV but I knew that the immune system of a baby cannot tolerate as much as we can and I didn’t want to take any chances.

 

Parents need to educate themselves on the ABC’s of RSV and do so way before their baby arrives. Before the baby comes, you should also locate a pediatrician who you feel comfortable with and who shares your same judgement on various situations. A pediatrician is the best way for us Mamas to get information and answers for those questions that we may have or information that we don’t have but need right away! There is no treatment for RSV so prevention is critical and it begins with parents.

RSV Infographic - ENGLISH Mamas, we must make ourselves AWARE of this virus. Although RSV is so common (responsible for one out of every 13 pediatric visits) many parents aren’t aware of it. One-third of mothers (and two-thirds of Hispanic mothers) have never heard of the virus. Educate yourself and do your research. You want to know the symptoms and remind yourself that if your child is preterm, they are born with underdeveloped lungs and an immature immune system that places them at an even higher risk for developing RSV which may lead to hospitalization.

 

Although my boys are now 4 and 10 years of age, I am still very frightened by these diseases. I carry hand sanitizer in both of our cars and when they arrive home from school they remove their clothes immediately. I had my oldest son trained so well that he knew to tell anyone who came into our home after 9 months, “you must sanitize” (he was an early talker). My boys were not premature babies (born before 37 weeks gestation) but I was always vigilant and honestly scared about what could be spread to their tiny, helpless bodies.

 

In my heart I truly believe what had me in such a frantic, sanitizing mode was the fact that these viruses are so CONTAGIOUS. RSV can be spread so easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. The virus can also live on skin and surfaces for hours. When people come to visit you and your baby, you really never know who they’ve come in contact with prior to their visit and what germs they may be carrying. If your child exhibits persistent coughing or wheezing, bluish color around the mouth or fingernails, rapid, difficult or gasping breaths and a fever over 100.4 F (rectal), especially in infants in under 3 months of age, I would rush my baby to the hospital.

 

I’m not a doctor but I am an experienced mom who can be a bit obsessive about her children but my gut has never steered me wrong. It’s wonderful to hear my pediatrician tell me, “you always go with your instinct and you have been doing great.” Here are my personal ABC’s for you:

 

  • Don’t have visitors so early on after you come home. With social media in such high demand, you can tweet out, Facebook or Instagram a picture and be honest with loved ones. Tell your family and friends you want the best health for your child so you are NOT accepting visitors at this moment.
  • I would also NOT expose my child to restaurants or other indoor places because you never know what others have touched or sneezed on prior to your arrival. Refrain from taking your child out-especially in the winter months when the temperatures change drastically! Stay indoors and bond with your baby.
  • If you go out for some alone time, make sure when arriving home you remove your clothing and place them in the wash immediately. I would say wash your hands with warm water and soap and also sanitize.
  • Disinfect your household frequently, especially when you have a new baby. If you live with your spouse or other children, do the same with them. Don’t allow them to touch the baby’s bedding or anything the baby touches.
  • If you have other children and they are sick have them isolated from the newborn. I know it is difficult but it can be done.

 

Best of all, always go with your instinct. We never want to see our babies suffer and sometimes, it may seen you need to take drastic measures to do so. Many people may get offended and think you are hovering over your child but others will understand. For those who don’t, you can remind them that you have your child’s best interest at heart and you will send along as many pictures as they would like!

 

For more information about RSV and prevention, visit www.RSVprotection.com

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with MedImmune and Latina Bloggers Connect.

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