RSV and Your Infant
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a respiratory illness that has suddenly been on the rise. Generally, the virus poses little risk for most adults and adolescents. For newborns and young children, however, the virus can have serious consequences for your child’s health. It is estimated that between 58,000 and 80,000 children younger than five become hospitalized because of RSV (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). To prevent and protect your newborn from the effects of the virus, it is essential that you become aware of the signs and symptoms of RSV.
Who is Most at Risk
RSV poses the greatest risk to newborns and young children that have compromised immune symptoms. Additionally, premature infants, infants younger than 6 years old, and children who have chronic lung or heart disease, are also at risk from RSV (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
The Symptoms of RSV
The symptoms of RSV are actually quite similar to that of the common cold for adults. Interestingly, symptoms for adults and newborns are noticeably different. For adults, RSV symptoms are comparable to the common cold– runny nose, coughing, fever, etc. The symptoms for infants, however, are more undetectable and require more vigilance from parents when looking after their newborn’s health. Parents can look out for irritability in their children. Is your infant exhibiting more distress? This can be a possible sign that your infant might be suffering from RSV. Physically, parents should watch out for both decreased physical activity and appetite. This is an additional sign that your infant might be experiencing the onset of RSV. It is important to remember that your newborn may not have a fever. Consequently, watching out for the subtle signs of RSV in your infant is essential.
Treatments for RSV
If your newborn is experiencing some of the symptoms of RSV, you should immediately seek medical attention. Left undetected, there is the possible risk that RSV might develop into a more serious lung disease like bronchitis. Unfortunately, there is no cure or specific treatment for RSV, but you can take steps that can alleviate the symptoms of RSV. Ensuring that your newborn is properly hydrated is key. The use of a humidifier could potentially help your child’s breathing as long as hot humidifiers are not used. Hot humidifiers can potentially make your infant’s symptoms worse and pose a physical danger (Nationwide Children’s). A humidifier like the Miro MH7000 could be a potential option to help if your infant is suffering from RSV. The Miro MH7000 comes with UV technology that eliminates the bacteria from the air assuring that your child is not exposed to harmful bacteria. Additionally, the Miro MH7000 comes with humidity sensors that can protect your child from the effects of too much humidity. Always consult with your pediatrician first before using any product around your newborn. Even though there is no magical cure for RSV at the moment, it is crucial to be on the lookout for RSV and take the proper steps to treat the symptoms of the virus if your newborn catches the virus.