Parents are warning other people on social media to avoid kissing their children during winter times, and doctors are supporting this idea.
Doctors are working hard on flu season to advise parents on what symptoms to look out for in their children. They are also spreading awareness on protecting the babies from viral infections.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can be mistaken for the common cold, because its symptoms are similar to cold ones, such as stuffed nose, low-grade fever, and cough, according to WebMD. Unfortunately, RSV can be more serious than it is though, particularly for young children under six months susceptible to chronic diseases.
The most known cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in children under the age of one is RSV. Respiratory syncytial virus results in more than 57,000 hospitalizations and over 2 million outpatient visits per year for children younger than 5 years, conforms to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Children have a higher risk of becoming ill from the respiratory syncytial virus if:
- They have chronic heart or lung disease
- They are prematurely born
- They have neuromuscular disorders
- Their immune system is weakening
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain that symptoms of RSV are displayed within 4 to 6 days after catching the virus, and are contagious for three to eight days.
The first symptoms of RSV are not dangerous. But, after a few days, it can become more serious, as the person infected can experience difficulties while breathing.
Firs symptoms that can be seen are cold-like: coughing, sneezing, fever, decrease in appetite, and runny nose. Young children infected with the virus can show symptoms like irritability, breathing difficulties and be decreased activity.
Children with breathing difficulties caused by the respiratory syncytial virus can have fast breathing, inflamed nostrils, or they can push their belly in and out,
Doctors and scientists haven’t found a specific treatment for the respiratory syncytial virus yet. With the help of fever reducers and pain relievers, you can manage the symptoms, but do not use them or give them to your children before consulting a healthcare provider.
According to WebMD, mothers should breast-feed or bottle-feed their children to avoid dehydration. Parents should make a comfortable atmosphere for their ill ones, and if they have trouble breathing through the nose, they should try a nasal aspirator to clean out their nostrils.
In any case of lethargy, trouble breathing or starvation, consider visiting the hospital. Doctors will give them oxygen and will keep them hydrated through infusion therapy.
How To Protect Your Child?
RSV is known to be very contagious, as it spreads through sneeze or cough. If you touch an infected surface and don’t wash your hands, you are at high risk of catching the virus.
If you teach your children on good hand hygiene, you can prevent them from contracting the respiratory syncytial virus, according to WebMD. Try to wash yours and your children’s hands as often as you can with warm water and soap. You should consider cleaning the countertops and surfaces that can harbor bacteria and viruses.
Infected visitors shouldn’t make contact with your children. Tell the healthy ones to wash their hands before touching the little ones or warn them if they want to kiss your children.
In order to avoid spreading the infection, you should not let your child infected with RSV to visit daycare or school. Consider teaching them to cover up with a tissue or their upper shirt sleeve if they are sneezing or coughing.
You should stop smoking around your infected child, as the tobacco in the house can make them more vulnerable to the RSV infection.
Now that you read what causes RSV, its symptoms, and how it can affect infants and little children, make sure you are healthy before touching them or refrain from kissing them.
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