I’m going to tell you a big secret. I wasn’t really a baby person until I had a baby. Up until then I thought babies were swell and all, but I wasn’t thinking about them all that often. Now that I’ve spent time with two of my own babies, I love babies, I adore babies, whether they are mine or not and because of that, I care deeply about their health.
My babies are no longer technically babies, but I want to help spread the word about things that I have learned as a mother so that other babies can be strong and grow into not being babies anymore, that’s why I want to tell you about RSV. RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is huge in the baby community. It is a common virus contracted by almost all children by the age of two. The symptoms are similar to those of a cold, but premature babies are at risk for developing more serious symptoms because of their underdeveloped lungs and fewer antibodies.
Even though RSV is so common that just about 100 percent of babies will get it by the age of two, many parents are unaware of the dangers of it. Two-thirds of Latino moms have never heard of it even though Latino babies are at a higher risk of developing severe RSV diseases because of high prematurity rates within the community. RSV is very contagious and can be spread by touching, coughing, or sneezing. There is no cure for RSV, which makes prevention key.
How do you prevent babies from getting RSV? Here are some tips:
- Keep hands, bedding, toys, and play areas clean by washing frequently.
- Make sure that family and any visitors that come into your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. Do not be shy about asking!
- Stay away from large crowds or people who have been sick.
- Do not let anyone smoke around your baby.
- Speak to your child’s doctor if your baby is high risk for RSV because there may be preventative treatment.
Please check out this RSV infographic for more details.
Visit the RSV Protection Site for more information, so we can keep them babies healthy!