World Preemie Day and RSV Awareness

World Preemie Day and RSV Awareness

One thing I love about being a blogger is being able to share important facts and issues with my readers. Recipes and crafts are fun, but every once in a while we need to get serious and talk about the big things in life. We all love our children and have a desire to keep them safe.  November 17 is World Preemie Day and I am writing this post in order to encourage you to learn more about premature birth and severe RSV, a disease premature babies are at increased risk of contracting.

World-wide, prematurity affects about 13 million babies every year. Both of my babies were born healthy at 38 weeks which seems to be the amount of time my babies need to fully develop.  However, a premature baby is one that is born before the 37 week mark. This usually means that those babies did not have sufficient time in the womb to develop and  many of these babies are born with underdeveloped organs, including their lungs. These same babies are more likely to contract respiratory illness and suffer breathing problems.  Because preemies have underdeveloped lungs and lack the antibodies needed to fight infection, they are more likely to contract more serious symptoms, including a serious respiratory infection (severe RSV disease) from the virus.

RSV Quick Facts

  • RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, and severe RSV disease causes up to 10 times as many infant deaths each year as the flu.
  • RSV is most prevalent during the winter months. The CDC has defined the “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
  • In addition to prematurity, common risk factors include low birth weight, certain lung or heart diseases, a family history of asthma and frequent contact with other children.

Many years ago one of my younger sisters was hospitalized with RSV. It was a very scary experience. I can still remember looking down at her while she was in some kind of tented bassinet looking very pitiful. Thankfully my sister recovered completely but we were all worried for a while. There are steps you can take to reduce your baby’s risk of severe RSV.

Preventing RSV

RSV is a very contagious illness and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. There is no treatment for RSV, so parents should take the following preventive steps to help protect their child:

  • Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
  • 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

Most children do contract RSV during the first two years of their life without much ado. However, this can be significantly more serious for premature babies.  RSV season is November through March so be on the lookout for symptoms such as severe coughing, wheezing or rapid gasping breaths, blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails, high fever, and extreme fatigue.

Thanks for reading about this important topic.  Be sure to share this with your friends and family.

To learn more about RSV, visit www.rsvprotection.com and for more about the specialized health needs of preterm infants, visit www.preemievoices.com.

Join the conversation online: #protectpreemies #rsv

 

 

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.

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. http://Debra%20Givens-Wagner says

    What a great article ! My second cousin Rachel’s premie
    baby is still in the hospital in England. My prayers to her and little Evie everyday

  2. http://Jennifer%20Mae%20Hiles says

    That you for this great post. I know too much about respitory issues since my daughter was born with pneumonia and had it again at 1 year old. Washing hands constantly is I great way to cut down the chances of getting/spreading it. I’ve stocked up on hand sanitizer and use it constantly!

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