Protect Your Preemie from RSV

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I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MedImmune. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.Then and NowTwo and a half years ago we had an emergency cesarean when we discovered my daughter was in cardiac failure. We spent a month in the NICU after that she was born. It was the longest month of my life. Not to mention the most stressful. There were lots of tube and rules to keep the babies safe. Including medications that I had not even heard of. One of those was RSV, which is common and season like the flu. 

My daughter was born on the tail end of the RSV season which is from November through March so she was required to get the RSV shot when she was born and once before we left in April just to be on the safe side. RSV can be contracted by nearly all children, not just preemies, by the age of two. In healthy full term babies it causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms. The disease is one of the leading causes of hospitalization of babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 200 infant deaths each year. 

And to think, I had never heard of it.

Babies born prematurely are at a higher risk of contracting RSV due to their underdeveloped lungs. The lungs are the last organs to develop during gestation. My girls are complete opposites in every aspect. One was full term and birthday naturally. The other was 8 weeks early due to an emergency c-section. Every year I watch as my oldest brings nasty colds and bugs home and they barely bother her. While the other is sick much longer and requires more trips to the doctor. Despite the fact that she is the size of an average toddler now and all caught up and heart condition free. I know this is because she was born prematurely and her lungs just aren’t as strong as my full term child’s are.  

Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:

  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
  • Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
  • Fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F [rectal] in infants under 3 months of age)

There is no treatment for RSV which is why prevention is critical if you have a child that could be at risk. It is extremely contagious also and can live on the skin for hours. Make sure you are washing your hands often along with your child’s hands. We all know how much kids love to put their hands in their mouths. 

You can learn more about RSV prevention by visiting World Prematurity Day is on November 17, 2014. Help spread the word about RSV to parents with preemie’s by using the #RSVAwareness, #PreemieProtection hashtags.Unbranded Infographic_FINAL for Media

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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