I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting #MC for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating. When you are expecting a baby it is such a happy time in your life. You plan the nursery, choose accessories, clothing and toys the baby will need. You pack your suitcase for the hospital stay with care and count down the months, weeks and then days until it is time. If your baby is born prematurely, virtually all parents are not prepared for this shocking development. These parents are faced with complications and special medical attention regarding their baby’s health. Knowledge is power and the more we know about illnesses like RSV that are potentially fatal to all babies, especially preemies, we can save lives. With World Prematurity Day on November 17th, it is important to know the risks that go along with premature birth. Thankfully we have helpful information offered from the RSV Protection website from MedImmune to answer all of our questions.
World Prematurity Day
There are an estimated 13 million babies born prematurely each year. Of these, more than a million have died so far this year from serious health issues. We have one of the highest rates of prematurity in the world at 12.2 percent. A recent survey showed 75 percent of parents do not know prematurity is a birth at or before 37 weeks gestation. Many women do not know to ask their doctor about the risks related to delivering a baby prematurely. Because being a preemie means underdeveloped organs and being susceptible to a variety of illnesses and infections, especially during the winter months, now is the best time to educate parents. One of the most serious of these illness, one my baby had at 9 months of age is RSV or Respiratory syncytial virus. RSV is a common seasonal virus which is contracted by nearly all children by the age of two. For premature babies, RSV is more dangerous due to their undeveloped lungs and immature immune systems. This puts them at a higher risk for developing severe RSV disease, often requiring hospitalization.
RSV occurs in epidemics each year, usually from November through March, and is the leading disease for hospitalization for babies during their first year. Although a common illness, one-third of mothers have never heard of it. If your child begins to have one or more of these symptoms, you should call your pediatrician immediately: Persistent coughing or wheezing, bluish color around the mouth or fingernails, rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths, and fever. RSV is highly contagious and is spread through touching, sneezing and coughing and can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. Because there is no treatment for RSV, the key is prevention. You can help minimize your baby contracting the disease by washing yours and their hands, keep toys, clothes, blanket and sheets clean, stay out of crowds, keep smokers away from your baby and stay away from anyone who is or was recently sick. Remember the key to stopping the illness is prevention and knowledge is power. Tell your friends, family and coworkers about RSV, the symptoms and how it is spread and most importantly, how to avoid it altogether.