It’s cold and flu season. This is the time of year when I go into germaphobe mode. I think these signs should say "Everyone" needs to wash their hands – not just employees. I’m always practicing ways to be as germ free as possible but when it’s the season for sickness, I go into overdrive. RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is among one of the scary illnesses I avoid.
My teenager is on Independent Study so he is home most of the time. My toddler doesn’t quite go to headstart or daycare yet. Germs and sickness is one of the reasons why I put off finding him a headstart. It scares me to think of the germs he could pick up and bring home. It’s mainly my nine year old daughter I worry about.
I’m always reminding her that she must constantly wash her hands, do not eat or drink anything after other people and steer clear of the kids with sniffles. I stress to her not to put anything near her mouth that has been in contact with other things, including her pencil, hands and whatever else she might be tempted to chew on.
RSV germs are sitting on everything, waiting to be contracted. They live on countertops, doorknobs, bedding, toys and much more. The pediatricians office is one place that absolutely freaks me out. I have never seen the point of having toys in the waiting room and in the patient rooms. Think about it. Kids are there because they are sick. They are now playing with these toys and leaving their germs for the next kid. You might be taking your child in for a follow up or immunizations and not because they are sick. Guess what? Your healthy, well child can easily contract these germs from all the toys. I would hope they at least clean them all daily but I really don’t think most of them do.
The season for RSV is typically November through March. Those are the months to really look out for concerning symptoms. Generally, RSV has mild to moderate cold-like symptoms. Some babies can get a serious respiratory infection. If your baby was premature, they are at a higher risk for severe RSV. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your baby, you will want to seek immediate medical care because it could be a sign of severe RSV.
- 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 mouth or fingernails
- Fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F in infants under 3 months of age)
Another important way to prevent the spread of illness is to keep the germs away from others. If your child is sick, be sure they don’t have close contact with other children. Keep your child home from school or daycare if they are showing symptoms of RSV or any other illness. Also, if you are invited to a social function, I’m sure the host would rather you stay home than to spread germs to other guests.
It is critical that you prevent the spread of RSV considering there is no treatment for it. Make sure you take the necessary steps to keep it from spreading. Wash your hands, your child’s hands and don’t be afraid to ask other people to do the same. If they refuse, they are not worth having around.
Recently my mom was in the hospital and I was visiting her daily. Of course I was worried about bringing germs home to my family. The moment I walked in the door, I would go take off my clothes, put them in the washer and take a shower. That was the best way I could keep germs from the outside to spreading in my home.
There are so many more facts about RSV. If you want to learn more, you can visit www.RSVProtection.com. If you are on Twitter, you can also follow the #RSVProtection hashtag for more information.
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.