Did you know that November 17th is World Prematurity Day? I did not even though I have a lot of experience with premature babies. In fact I was going to write this post on Friday but a premature baby stopped that. My sister had her son after being on hospital bed rest for two weeks. Her water ruptured at 31 weeks but she managed to hold out in the hospital until 33 weeks. My new nephew was 4lbs, 11 oz when he was born. His head is as big as my brother-in-law’s thumb. You cant see but all those cords at the bottom are attached to him. They say that he will probably have to stay there for several more weeks. They talked to my sister about all the things he is so much more at risk for since he was born prematurely.
I also have my best girl Lydia. She is my best friend/soul twin’s baby and she was born five weeks too early by emergency c-section.
Did you know that babies born prematurely are at a higher risk for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) and that it causes up to 200 infant deaths per year? In fact, it is the leading cause of hospitalizations of babies during their first year of life. Almost 250,000 hospitalizations a year is a pretty serious number and yet most parents are not aware of RSV. Preemies are almost twice as likely to get it so that is super scary. My old daycare used to have signs for most common diseases for each section of the daycare. They would put the sign up if one of the kids in the class had came down with something so that parents knew what to look out for. Sadly, my child was the cause of those signs numerous times. My son has an immune issue and catches everything. This is him in the hospital one of the times he had RSV.
My son has had RSV twice. He had to do to the doctor everyday to get his blood oxygen levels checked. He had to take albuteral treatments five times a day and he was on a ton of medicines. There is no treatment for RSV so prevention is a big deal. He was hospitalized and on oxygen at one point. I thought he was better after a couple of weeks and he was actually well for a couple of days besides getting Roseola. Then he started vomiting and having diarrhea. Because of having RSV and bronchiolitis, his system was so run down that a simple stomach bug almost killed him. He had to be in the hospital for several more days. They saw us immediately at the emergency room and had him on oxygen and an IV within an hour. RSV is a very serious disease that is VERY contagious. A year after he first got RSV, my son caught it again in the winter. RSV tends to be most prevalent in November through March. Most children will catch it though. It usually starts like a simple cold and is not that bad for children with healthy immune systems but you should look out for these symptoms and call the doctor if they occur:
- high fever with ill appearance
- thick nasal discharge
- worsening cough or cough that produces yellow, green, or gray mucus
- signs of dehydration
- trouble breathing
Because of not being treatable and being spread through touching, sneezing, and coughing (it can live on surfaces for hours), there are some things you can do to make sure that do to help prevent the spread of RSV:
1. WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY
2. Keep kids home when they are sick.
3. Do not let people smoke around your babies
4. Avoid big areas full of crowds during RSV season
5. If your child is sick, wash all their toys, clothes they have touched, and covers
You can find out more about RSV by checking out the RSV Awareness website or looking at this infographic below. Do you have any experience with RSV or premature babies? Tell me about it in the comments!