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We Almost Lost our Baby to RSV

This post was sponsored as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

After my third son was born, I thought that I was a pro at being a mom. I knew how to manage fevers, colic, and every possible hiccup that I could face when caring for a newborn. When my son was three months old, he came down with a terrible fever. He wasn’t nursing and had a terrible cough. Within 24 hours we were in the emergency room with him on oxygen.

I didn’t know what was happening to my precious baby as the doctors worked frantically to care for him. That night, I sat by his crib in the hospital and didn’t know if he would survive the night.

He had contracted RSV.

I had never heard of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) or anyone who had a child that contracted the disease. I was puzzled as to how I could have already raised two children, and never knew about the disease. RSV is a highly contagious, season virus that affects nearly 100% of infants by the age of two, mostly during the months of November through March.

My son was a preemie, making him at a bigger risk of contracting RSV. He spent over two weeks in the hospital being treated for RSV, and when he was released, we learned that the disease had caused permanent damage to his lungs. His body also stopped producing white blood cells (Neutropenia), and he had to be treated for years with a type of medication that cancer patients take when going through chemo called GCSF.

To this day, my son still has the scarring on his lungs. When he gets a cold, he gets it hard, and it always goes directly to his chest. He also still suffers from Neutropenia, but the doctors have been able to manage it well enough that he can go to school and be around other people.

RSV almost took the life of my son and had left him with life-long medical struggles.

What signs should you look for if your child is sick? If your child is coughing or wheezing nonstop, having fast or troubled breathing, gasping for breath or have a bluish color around the mouth or fingernails. If they have a fever that is greater than 100.4 degrees F° (rectal) in infants under three months of age. If your child exhibits these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

What can you do to prevent your baby from getting RSV? Ask everyone to wash their hands after entering the house or before interacting with the children. Washing toys and surfaces frequently to reduce the chance of exposure. Keep your baby away from sick people and large crowds.

If you have a baby, it is important to be aware of RSV. October is National RSV Awareness Month, and I am passionate about ensuring parents are aware of RSV, and what they can do to help prevent their babies from contracting it. If you are pregnant, have a baby or know of someone who does, make sure to make them aware of the risk of RSV.

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