I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
When I was expecting my son, I came to the point where I realized “This baby may not come by my due date! He might be late!” I remember that coming to me as a bit of a shock, thinking I would be so disappointed and impatient if I had to wait longer than that date! It turned out that he arrived 2.5 weeks before my due date.
One thing I never really considered is the fact that my baby might come TOO EARLY and be considered premature. I’m thankful that he arrived healthy and within a few days were were able to bring him home.
November 17th is World Prematurity Day. Each year, worldwide 13 million babies are born prematurely, and more than one million preemies have died just this year from the serious health challenges they face. The definition of prematurity is: birth at or before 37 weeks gestation. Most pregnant women don’t ask their health care provider about the risk of delivering prematurely and the potential consequences of preterm birth for their child.
Premature babies can experience complications, often requiring special medical attention. As preemies often have specialized health needs, it’s important to raise awareness of the increased risks that often come with premature birth. In
As we head into the winter months, it’s important to be aware of a seasonal virus that poses a threat to infants – RSV.
What is RSV?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), RSV, a common and contagious seasonal virus, occurs annually in epidemics throughout the fall and spring seasons. In healthy, full term babies, RSV can cause mild to moderate cold-like symptoms. However, for infants born at or before 37 weeks, RSV proves a great risk due to their undeveloped lungs and immature immune systems.
· RSV occurs in epidemics each year, typically from November through March, though it can vary by geography and year-to-year
· RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year
· RSV disease is responsible for one of every 13 pediatrician visits and one of every 38 trips to the ER in children under the age of five
· Despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers have never heard of the virus
Learn the Symptoms of Severe RSV Disease:
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
· Persistent coughing or wheezing
· Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
· Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
· Fever [especially if it is over 100.4°F (rectal) in infants under 3 months of age]
How Can I Help Protect My Baby From RSV?
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Additionally, the virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. There is no treatment for RSV disease once it’s contracted, so prevention is critical. To help minimize the spread of RSV disease, all parents should:
· Wash their hands and ask others to do the same
· Keep toys, clothes, blanket and sheets clean
· Avoid crowds and other young children during RSV season
· Never let anyone smoke around your baby
· Steer clear of people who are sick or who have recently been sick
Speak to your child’s pediatrician to determine if your baby is at high risk for RSV disease, and if so, what additional steps may be recommended. For more information about RSV and prevention, visit www.RSVprotection.com.