Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Little Knowledge Goes a Long Way in #RSVProtection

When the twins were very young, everyone in the family was the healthiest we've ever been. That's because as preemies, we could not let anyone that was sick near them and we were hyper-active about keeping a clean home. As the twins' overall health improved we let our guard down, stopped reading up about every big virus that came around each year and of course, we started getting sick more. 

When it comes to a disease like Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, a little knowledge goes a long way in prevention. Knowing what to look for in children, yours and others, is your first line of defense
when it comes to keeping everyone in your household healthy. Its easy to overlook the symptoms because RSV usually starts out as a mild cold and sniffles before wheezing and sniffles that are caused by a lung infection set in.

Like other viruses, there is no standard treatment, so your best defense is to be proactive as a parent and do what you can to prevent your family from catching RSV. When we had the twins at home, we had a very strict call before coming over policy. This gave us a chance to ask guests about their current health, and how long it had been since they were last sick (diseases like RSV can still spread after infected children have recovered themselves). One of my biggest pet peeves is when parents take their over to family and friends sick, because I know that the next couple weeks are going to be spent caring for the family as they fall like dominoes to the illness themselves. 

So, what can you do to prevent your baby from catching RSV?

  • Always wash yours, and your children's hands, when you are out in public, return home from school or daycare, and periodically throughout the day. 
  • Wash the toys they play with or are introduced to, and their clothes and bedding regularly. 
  • Keep baby away from large crowds of people, or people who are visibly sick. I know everyone wants to play with the cute baby, but November through March is RSV season.   

To learn more about RSV, and how you can protect you and your family, check out this website.