I watched a familiar situation play out the other day. I watched as a grandmother and aunt arrived to meet the newest member of their family in the hospital. They quickly paid the taxi driver, rode up the elevator, and dropped their luggage at the door as they rushed to meet the cute little guy.
It’s then that I gasped.
The grandmother picked up the baby.
Did you catch why I gasped?
Nobody washed their hands in the sink right over there. No-one used hand sanitizer. Yes, I gasped. (The airplane, airport, luggage, taxi, elevator buttons……oh, I can imagine all the germs.)
And while you and I may have immune systems that can handle them, not all babies can, especially during this time of year…..flu and cold season. It can be even more dangerous if the baby is/was a preemie.
November 17th was World Prematurity Day – a great opportunity to help parents and others understand the potential risks that preemies (and other babies) face. It’s so important because preemies can be more susceptible to infections and respiratory diseases. Trust me, respiratory diseases are scary for an adult, but it’s harder to watch a young child suffer (and possibly more dangerous).
We all know about colds and the flu, but there’s one virus I want to tell you about.
Why? Because I had never heard of it before becoming a mom. In fact, several of my own family members (who at the time had young grandchildren) had no clue what I was talking about one day. They needed to.
I’m talking about what’s commonly called RSV – a virus. Almost all children have had this virus by the age of 2, but it mimics a cold. In babies and children at risk, it can cause severe symptoms, including death.
In fact, RSV is the leading cause of hospitalizations for babies…..and severe RSV disease causes up to 10x more deaths than the flu.
This is important…..and my family knows well. My little great-nephew (who is not so little anymore) is a miracle baby. He was born quite premature. Several times the family was told to say goodbye to him. Thankfully, our prayers were answered, and he proved and continues to prove the doctors wrong. A true miracle. But there were risks he faced once he was brought home from the hospital.
The risk of RSV was a very real possibility as he was born in the fall. Extended family was not allowed to visit so as to protect him until his little body was stronger.
Preemies are at risk, but your child may be too, as there are other risk factors. So you should know how to prepare against RSV:
- Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
- Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid large crowds and people who are or have been sick
- Never let anyone smoke near your baby
- Speak with your child’s doctor if he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available
To learn more, visit RSVProtection.com!
Be sure to educate your extended family, babysitters and anyone else in charge of your kiddos!
“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”