Does your baby have RSV? Worried about how to handle the situation? RSV in babies is quite common. As a parent, it is quite hard to imagine your child with a sickness, especially if you do not understand what it is. If you are starting to get worried, don’t worry because we have you covered. In this article, we will be filling you in with all the facts you need to know about RSV in babies, and what you can do to both prevent and treat it.
How to Detect RSV in Babies | Symptoms, And Treatments
What is RSV?
Respiratory syncytial virus or (RSV), is a contagious and common type of viral infection that affects the respiratory system in most two-year-old children.
For some toddlers and babies, in some cases, the virus causes little more than a cold. But if it is left untreated, it can lead to serious health issues like bronchitis, which causes inflammation in the lungs. Or it could also lead to pneumonia, which can be dangerous and life-threatening.
Severe RSV in babies can only turn into a serious problem if:
- your baby was born prematurely.
- your toddler has a weak immune system due to medical treatments or previous illnesses.
- if your child was born with heart or lung diseases and is below 2 years old.
- your child is under 8 – 10 weeks.
What are the Symptoms of RSV in Babies?
The next thing you will have to look out for are the symptoms. As mentioned, this virus can cause cold-like symptoms, which normally includes a runny nose and coughing. These symptoms usually last for more than 1-2 weeks, depending on how well your child usually recovers from infections. But if you start to notice the following signs make sure to call your doctor immediately:
- Yellow, gray, or green mucus caused by coughing.
- Having trouble breathing normally.
- Inactive or unusually upset.
- Does not like bottle feeding or breastfeeding for some reason.
- Showing signs of dehydration, which include lack of tears when crying, dry skin, and little to no signs of urine in their diaper for more than 6 hours.
*Important Note: If you notice that your child’s lips or fingernails start to have a blue tint, seems very tired, or has been breathing rapidly, make sure that you call for help immediately.
How to Prevent RSV in Babies
The next thing you will need to know is, how to prevent this virus from infecting your child and how you can make the necessary changes to ensure that your child stays healthy. Check out these ways you can do your part to prevent RSV in toddlers:
- Make sure that you always remember to wash your hands, especially if you have been in contact with anyone who has a cold.
- Disinfect or clean any hard surfaces around your house.
- Avoid kissing your toddler if you have any cold symptoms.
- If you really want to be safe, try to keep your baby away from older brother or sisters if they have any symptoms of a cold to prevent spreading infections.
- Keep your baby away from large crowds or crowded areas as much as possible.
- Don’t expose your baby to any smoky areas, and avoid being around anyone who smokes.
- Make sure that you only allow people to touch your baby after they have washed and disinfected their hands thoroughly.
Take note: There is no vaccine available for RSV in toddlers, but doctors usually prescribe patients with a medication called palivizumab. These drugs help prevent infections and keeps your children away from serious RSV symptoms. If your doctor tells you that your child is at high risk, your doctor may recommend monthly visits for prevention, especially during RSV peak seasons.
How to Treat RSV in Babies
— Carle Health (@Carle_org) February 13, 2018
As mentioned above, there is no vaccination for RSV, however, doctors prescribe patients with a specific medication. Although palivizumab may help prevent the risk of serious infection, doctors don’t use it to completely get rid of the virus.
Unfortunately, there is no medication available that treats the virus itself. So, if your baby has RSV, that would mean that RSV treatment will involve treating symptoms of infection and its current effect on your child’s respiratory system.
For most babies, RSV treatments work through home care. Here are some methods that you can follow:
- Using saline drops and a bulb syringe, make sure that suction out sticky nasal fluids from your child’s nose.
- Keep the air moist by using a cool mist vaporizer to make breathing for your child easier.
- You can use non-aspirin fever reducers, but make sure that you follow all the directions indicated in the packaging or as directed by your doctor.
If your baby has more serious symptoms of RSV, treatment will have to be in the hospital and may include:
- Oxygen tanks
- Medications that help open airways in your child’s lungs
- IV fluids
Want to know more about RSV in babies? Check out this quick video by MountainStarHealth!
Caring for your child is very important! Always keep them safe and healthy by taking note of our helpful information and tips.
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