This post was sponsored by AstraZeneca as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
When I hear any mention of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), my mind immediately travels back a couple years to when my second child was 5 months old. He spent nearly three weeks in December sleeping propped up on my chest at night as he struggled to breathe from this new-to-me respiratory virus. His little lungs were working overtime, despite the round-the-clock breathing treatments that helped to open up his airways.
I still think back to this picture taken on Christmas day and shudder just a bit. Not only was my baby sick with RSV and breathing issues that would linger for weeks, but my husband and oldest son were also feverish and I was an emotional wreck after getting just a few hours of sleep a night. It was not how I envisioned celebrating our first Christmas as a family of four.
Even though we have a couple more months until winter hits, that doesn’t mean RSV won’t start popping up soon. RSV is a contagious, seasonal virus that can affect a baby’s lungs and breathing passages, and it typically peaks between November and March in the United States. It’s a virus I never knew much about when my firstborn was a baby. But when my second child hit his first winter, he contracted RSV three times in as many months. Thankfully, he was never hospitalized, but we practically lived at the pediatrician’s office.
Unfortunately, the outcome for every baby isn’t guaranteed to be as favorable. RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life. And what’s more, children can contract RSV up until about age 2. I had it in my mind that babies were generally one year or younger, but in January of this year when my daughter was 13 months old, she came down with RSV and her pediatrician sent us straight to the local Children’s hospital via ambulance to keep her on oxygen. Thankfully, her oxygen levels improved quickly and we were discharged after just a few hours, but all this to say that RSV is rough on newborns and toddlers alike.
Looking back, I wish I had been more informed about RSV when I became a mom. I wish I knew the signs to look for and preventative measures to help protect my babies’ fragile little lungs. Maybe the outcomes for my kids wouldn’t have changed, but as their mom, a basic knowledge of RSV would have helped me tremendously.
October is National RSV Awareness Month and a time for parents and caregivers to learn about the signs and symptoms of RSV disease as well as prevention measures to help keep babies safe. Visit http://bit.ly/2bvRxSm to learn more about RSV disease and how to help keep your child healthy this RSV season. #LittleLungs #RSVAwarenessMonth