RSV Prevention and Preemie Awareness Day is November 17th

by Kelsey Norwood

in Mom Central Tour

At 9 months old, Gus got RSV and nearly died. I was a mother who knew about RSV but didn’t understand how serious it could be or what I could do to prevent it. Now I know, and I want you to know too.

November 17th is RSV prevention and Preemie Awareness Day and to do my part to help spread awareness, here is some information about RSV I wish I had known sooner:

Information from

RSV Quick Facts:

  • RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.
  • RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
  • Certain regions have longer RSV seasons than others, with the season beginning as early as July (e.g., Florida) or ending in April.
  • Despite its prevalence, one-third of mothers have never heard of RSV.

Prevention is Key:

There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take the following preventive steps to help protect their child:

  • Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
  • Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid large crowds and people who may be sick
  • Never let anyone smoke near your baby
  • Speak with your child’s doctor if you believe he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available

This winter with my third baby, I am much more diligent about hand washing for everyone in our family. I am a firm believer that hand washing does wonders for stopping the spread of sickness.

Most importantly, Be Aware of Symptoms:

  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
  • Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
  • High fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Difficulty feeding

My son’s face was blue, he was completely listless (wouldn’t wake up to eat, wasn’t moving), and he was barely breathing. We took him to the pediatrician who checked his oxygen and said he was fine. We went home and an hour later took him to the emergency room. I learned that sometimes my own instincts are much more reliable than a doctor’s.

My son’s case of RSV was complicated by a case of pneumonia and asthma. If you suspect that your child has asthma, be ultra diligent when your child is sick because RSV and colds can be much more serious for these children.

And above all – if your child is sick, KEEP HIM HOME. Keep your germs to yourself and protect the other infants and children in your community.

Please check out to learn more about RSV in infants and special needs of preterm infants.

Here’s hoping we have a safe and healthy winter!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kaye Swires November 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Thanks for sharing. Our son spent 3 days in the hospital in January with RSV. What a scary time. I am grateful that I was such an advocate, bringing my son to the pediatrian daily to check his symptoms, because this is how it was found. I hate when I feel like I worry too much, but in this case I think it made a big difference. Thank you for the reminder!

2 Missy November 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Your advice in these matters were crazy valuable last winter. The pics in this post made me so sad though. Sweet guy.

3 Nemesis November 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I could just go smack that pediatrician for you. Am so glad you didn’t listen to him! And I’m glad that little Gus recovered to be the (highly) energetic kid he is now. :-) That RSV is scary stuff!

Your caution for parents to keep their kids at home reminds me of all the times that families would head home from the doctor’s office and swing by my library (sick kids in tow) to stock up on books and DVDs for the quarantine. (“Yeah, they’ve all been diagnosed with H1N1. We have to stay home for the next week. Kids, stop licking the books!”) Good times . . .

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