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RSV: 8 Things You Need To Know That Could Save Your Babies Life

Hospitalization. Respitory distress. Oxygen. IV fluids. Respiratory syncytial virus. 

These are all words you don’t want to hear the first weeks in your child’s life. However, I heard them and it’s anything but fun. A pure nightmare actually. You can read all bout how I almost lost my daughter to RSV here.  But for now, I want you to know a few things I wish I knew as a first time mom. It’s the littlest things that can be life changing and educating yourself is one of the best things you can do – especially if you have a newborn.

Here are some of  facts according the RSV Protection, one of the most informative websites out there:

RSV or respiratory syncytial [sin-sish-uhl] virus is a contagious viral disease that may infect a person’s lungs and breathing passages.

RSV spreads rapidly among children. While most will recover in 1 to 2 weeks, even after recovery, infants and children can continue to spread the virus for 1 to 3 weeks

RSV is present year-round but typically goes up in the fall, then peaks in the winter and goes down in early spring. But, the exact timing of RSV season varies by location.

Severe RSV disease is the number one reason babies less than 12 months old in the United States have to be admitted to hospitals.

RSV is a widespread virus that affects almost every infant by the time he or she turns 2. It can infect the lungs of your premature infant and in some cases lead to hospitalization.

RSV is scary and can be life-threatening but being proactive as a parent is one of the best things you can do.

After the jump, browse through images of my daughters struggle with RSV and 8 things you should know as a parent dealing with the virus.


  • Learn How To Count Your Child’s Respiratory Rate 1 of 8
    Learn How To Count Your Child's Respiratory Rate
    This is very helpful for once you are home from the hospital. Or, if you are concerned before calling the doctors. With nursing in my history, knowing how to take my child's respiratory rate has helped me tremendously when they are just to small to show real signs. It's important to know how to count your child's RR.
    Learn how to now on Baby Zone
  • Wash Your Hands + Hold Off On Visitors 2 of 8
    Wash Your Hands + Hold Off On Visitors
    Keep the germs away! If this means holding off on visitors at first, you may want to do just that -- especially in the winter months. Otherwise, wash hands frequently and make sure hand sanitizer is your best friend!
    All I can say is, knowledge is your best friend. Know the facts and don't ever wait if you feel like your child is struggling. Print this PDF to keep handy!
  • It’s More Than A Cold 3 of 8
    It's More Than A Cold
    While RSV is very similar to the common cold, its more than that. Each case is different - some babies get over it in a few days while others take hospitals stays to jump the RSV hurdle. It gets worse before it gets better. This is one thing I know now that I wish I knew before.
    See just who is at risk for RSV here.
  • What Is Retracting? 4 of 8
    What Is Retracting?
    I will never forget the day Kennadi was in severe respiratory distress. It happened many times until she was stable and on the road to feel better land. If your child is using their rib muscles and it seems they are really working hard to breath, they are retracting. This is a sure sign that they are struggling with each breathe.
    Read more about retracting here. The image above shows my daughter in a mist tent while getting a breathing treatment.
  • How Do You Know If They Are Struggling To Breathe? 5 of 8
    How Do You Know If They Are Struggling To Breathe?
    My doctor always told me to watch that little nose! Another sure sign for me with Kennadi, and my other girls was nasal flare-age. I always knew they were struggling when their nostrils flared with each breath. Ask your doctor what to look out for. Knowledge is key!
    See other symptoms of RSV here.
  • Call Your Doctor 6 of 8
    Call Your Doctor
    If you are ever hesitant or your mother's intuition kicks in - never wait. You may think it's just a cold but, it could be worse. They may need further treatment. Always call! If you have to run them to the ER, do it. This is your child's life. Don't wait around because with a virus like RSV, every second counts. When a child is in respiratory distress then can worsen very quickly.
  • Know When RSV Season Is 7 of 8
    Know When RSV Season Is
    While Kennadi was hospitalized in late spring, towards the end of RSV season the average RSV season is from Fall into Spring. Now, you can even receive an RSV vaccination.
    See more about RSV Protection here.
  • Be Prepared For The Worst 8 of 8
    Be Prepared For The Worst
    Or what looks to be the worst. From the oxygen to the IV or PIC lines or perhaps being in a bubble. Just remember, it's all to help your baby get better quicker. Things can look worse, especially when you are emotionally drained in a hospital room.

Read more from Casi & the cupcake team on cupcakeMAG + cupcakeMAG for Littles.

For more updates, follow Casi on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

See all of Casi’s Being Pregnant post here and find her on The Party Dress. Want more? Get to know 25 things about Casi.

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