I had a baby September 1st. I was lucky that she was healthy and full term. Many babies are born preemies. In fact 13 million babies are born early every year, including more than half a million in the United States.
Preemie Awareness Day is November 17th.
This is a day to help Parents fully understand the increased risks that come with premature birth and the specialized health care that preemies often require.
Having a preemie makes that baby increases their risk of contracting a life threatening illness'.
Young infants are very susceptible to infection in the early weeks of
their lives, so contracting something as small as the common cold can
present danger. This is especially true for babies born early, because
they have underdeveloped lungs and immature immune systems.
Did you know that 79 percent of preemie moms have a baby who was hospitalized due to a severe respiratory infection?
One virus in particular that parents of preemies should know about is respiratory syncytial virus, commonly known as RSV.
• 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.
Prevention is Key
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Since there’s no treatment for RSV, parents should 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 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
Know the Symptoms
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
• Severe coughing, wheezing or rapid gasping breaths
• Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
• High fever and extreme fatigue
I have become very educated on RSV and have taken many steps to try and prevent my daughter from contracting it.
Please take a moment to visit RSVProtection.com to learn more about RSV!
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