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MedImmune Blog Tour: RSV and Preemie Awareness #protectpreemies #rsv

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Having a 3 month old and being a health care professional RSV is a term that I know intimately.  Do you?

Did you know that worldwide, 13 million babies are born early every year, including more than half a million in the United States? Despite these staggering numbers, many parents still aren’t aware of prematurity—the leading cause of neonatal death.

In fact, a recent survey on prematurity awareness found that 3 in 10 mothers of preemies weren’t aware of the possibility of prematurity until they had their first child. And 75% of parents don’t know the definition of prematurity– being born at or before 37 weeks gestation age. Given this low awareness, it is clear many parents don’t fully understand the increased risks that come with premature birth – and the specialized health care that preemies often require.

Prematurity disrupts a baby’s development in the womb, often stunting the growth of some of the body’s most critical organs. These babies are at an increased risk of serious medical complications and regularly face weeks or even months in the NICU. This often contributes to mothers feeling powerless, anxious and isolated. On November 17 – World Prematurity Day – we’re hoping to educate all expecting parents about the possibility of and potential risks associated with preterm births.

Because their immune systems and lungs aren’t fully developed, preemies are more likely to develop infections and are more susceptible to respiratory problems. In fact, 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 contracted by nearly all children by the age of two, often causing relatively minor symptoms that mimic the common cold. However, preemies are most at risk for developing much more serious symptoms, including a serious respiratory infection (severe RSV disease) from the virus, because their lungs are underdeveloped and they don’t have the antibodies needed to fight off infection. Below are a few quick facts that all parents should know about RSV:

RSV Quick Facts

  • 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 be available

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

To learn more about RSV, visit www.rsvprotection.com and for more about the specialized health needs of preterm infants, visit www.preemievoices.com.

My take:  I never really had to worry that much about RSV with my boys since they were born in early spring but with my daughter who was born in July I am acutely aware that RSV is very common from November till March.  I will take the prevention steps to heart this winter and stock up on hand sanitizer and encourage the boys to wash their hands frequently especially when they get home from school.  But what about those mothers that are already dealing with the stressful added needs of a preemie?  So many of my friends have had preemies and I will be sure to share this information with them and I encourage you to do the same if you know any parents or caregivers of a premature baby!

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I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

 

Some information may have been used from the sponsors website, PR, or other provided material. (Giveaways- Odds of winning depend on the number of entries vs prizes. No purchase is ever needed or endorsed for an entry) The views and opinions expressed in this blog are purely my own and any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified by the above mentioned store, PR,or product designer. This post is not endorsed, sponsored or has any connection to twitter, facebook or any other network. This post is solely the property of Mommy PR and/or its above sponsor. facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

About the Author

Andrea@MommyPR.com My name is Andrea and I have 2 boys (5&7), a baby girl who is 1 years old, a wonderful husband, and 1 kitty. I am blessed to be able to stay at home with the kids 3 days a week and work as a physical therapist 2 days a week.

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