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.
Today, November 17th, is World Prematurity Day. As a mother of premature twins, I know first hand the effects on a preemie baby. My girls were premature and as a result, left more susceptible to illnesses like RSV. What is RSV? RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is a common seasonal virus contracted by most children by the age of two and the leading cause of hospitalization in children under one – yet many parents haven’t heard of the illness. Respiratory Syncytial Virus usually presents mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, but can lead to serious infection. Premature babies can have serious consequences with RSV. It is highly contagious and is not only spread by coughs and sneezes but can live on surfaces, hands and clothing.
My twins were premature. The picture below is my little Reagan in the NICU following her birth. That winter, the girls contracted RSV and Reagan ended up hospitalized because of it. While Riyan was able to work through it without hospitalization, it left her lungs more vulnerable as well and both girls have battled croup, bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. It is heartbreaking watching your baby gasp for air.
With a new baby in our home, we are once again on RSV alert. Preventing RSV depends greatly on staying informed, educated and taking action when necessary. What can you do? Contact your pediatrician has persistent coughing or wheezing, a bluish color around the fingernails or mouth, rapid, difficult or gasping for breath or fever. These symptoms can be signs of RSV. Early detection is important.
Since RSV has no treatment once contracted and is highly contagious, prevention is key. It can live on surfaces and skin for hours and is spread through coughing, sneezing and touch. Prevention tips include avoiding crowds and sick people during peak season, washing hands and keeping bedding and toys clean and never let anyone smoke around your baby. After the twins battle with RSV, I am very diligent about hand washing in our home. Our kids and guests have to wash their hands when they come in the house. We don’t want to go through that experience again, nor do we want other families to have to either.
November 17th is World Prematurity Day and it is a good time to learn the risks associated with with premature birth and how we can protect those born too soon. Something as easy as washing your hands can protect a little life.
You can learn more tips including how to talk to your pediatrician about RSV and view data regarding the illness in your area, as well read real stories from real families at www.RSVprevention.com.
Learn more by clicking on the infographic below!