Did you know that it is estimated that 82% of U.S. children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old will spend sometime in childcare or daycare? This is giving them the risk to contract RSV which before Olivia was born I had never heard of. She was sick for most of her infant life and while I didn’t know what RSV was or was caused by I would soon learn about it when she was hospitalized when she was 4 months old. RSV typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, but in some babies it results in a serious respiratory infection. Those most at risk for severe RSV include premature infants, as their lungs aren’t fully developed and they have fewer infection-fighting antibodies than full-term babies.
Since Olivia was just 8 weeks old she was in daycare. The one thing that I have to say is that she always seemed to get sick from everyone but we didn’t learn about RSV until she was around 4 months old when she was hospitalized from being very sick. They tested her for everything in the sun including CF and other underlying diseases. While it scared us to the ends of the earth it gave me a better light on what RSV was and how to prevent it. One thing that I have learned is if your child is sick and you decide to take them to school and or daycare, please don’t. You don’t know if your child is contagious or if any of the other children were preemies or have immune disorders. We always kept Olivia home from daycare while she was sick and never took her if she had a fever. We also had a really good daycare at one time that required us every week to bring at least 3 crib sheets that had been laundred and it helped cut down on the sickness. But I think when Jason and I have a little one together we are going to find someone who can come into the home and watch them or put them in an at home daycare. There is less of a threat there and I know that if my child is sick they will stay home.
The RSV season typically runs from November through March, so during the winter months parents should be extra careful to watch for signs of RSV. Below are the symptoms of severe RSV infection that require immediate medical care:
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast or troubled breathing
- Spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe
- Bluish color around the mounth or fingernails
- Fever (especially if it is over 100.4 F in infants under 3 months of age)
And of course is your child is sick, the best way to prevent the spread of germs is to keep them at home! This I just can’t repeat enough because Olivia has gotten sick several times because of other parents bringing their children to daycare or school and are really sick.
For more information on RSV visit www.RSVProtection.com and follow #RSVProtection on Twitter for more information!
Remember to wash your hands, toys, clothes, sheets, and blankets as often as you can to protect your little one from contracting this horrible illness!