This post was sponsored as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
October is National RSV Awareness Month. As you know, we rarely share information on our site about health, medicine, etc. But having infants the past 3 winters (between the 2 of us Chirping Moms!) RSV awareness is something I think is very important. Plus it was a chance to go back and add photos of teeny tiny Miles who is now a wild toddler!
With my oldest, I had no idea there were things like RSV to be on the watch for. She didn’t catch RSV but did catch another very serious cough before she was done with her vaccines. It was a very scary time and made me much more aware of learning what the symptoms are of different illnesses an infant can get. They are so tiny and not able to tell you how they feel, so being aware of both symptoms and prevention is key. There are no current treatment option available for RSV, so learning the signs and symptoms and taking preventative measures is really important.
A few things you can do: ask everyone to wash their hands after entering the house and before interacting with your children; washing toys and surfaces frequently to reduce the chance of exposure; and keeping children away from people who may be sick and away from large crowds. Also, talk to your pediatrician about RSV and know if your child is at risk, their preventative tips, etc.
While none of my newborns has contracted RSV, I have many friends who have dealt with it. With my first two babies, I was not as in tune with it and how easily babies can contract RSV, but when my younger two were born, I became very aware and took a lot of precautions because they were out and about so much more from day 1. Not only were they out and about, they were in preschools and elementary schools filled with germs! I tried to keep them home as much as I could, but with 2 older sisters that had to be dropped off and picked up from school, gymnastics classes, birthday parties, etc, I had no choice but to have them with us. The day Tommy came home from the hospital one of his big sisters got really sick (for the first time in a year – great timing!). I was really nervous and spoke to my doctor about things like RSV, symptoms and ways to prevent it. When Miles was born it was the middle of the Winter and his siblings had colds and coughs left and right. It was key to know what to look for in an infant to know when it’s a simple cold or when it’s something more. My pediatrician was so helpful.
Often, RSV leads to a mild respiratory infection with symptoms similar to the common cold or flu, but can develop into a more serious infection.A few symptoms of severe RSV disease: coughing or wheezing that does not stop, fast or troubled breathing, gasping for breath, a bluish color around the mouth or fingernails, unusual lethargy or tiredness or a fever.
So after a few winters of worrying about and learning more about RSV, we are happy to spread the word that October is National RSV Awareness Month – a time to educate parents about the signs and symptoms of RSV disease as well as prevention measures you can take. If you are unfamiliar with RSV, it is a common, seasonal virus typically occurring between November and March. In the United States, it is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies in their first year of life.