Caring for Little LungsOctober 5, 2017
This post was sponsored as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Charlotte is my baby. Well, she’s not a baby anymore but she will always be my youngest child. We have so many amazing memories with her but one day in particular will always stand out in my mind.
I will never forget that day. It started out just like any other… but the events gradually led to the scariest moment of my (and my husband’s) life.
At the time, I was a mom of a 2 year old (Sophia) and a 5 month old (Charlotte). We headed to the mall in the morning to walk around and have some lunch together. The mall also has an indoor play place so Sophia used to love to play there & make some friends with other toddlers. However, throughout the time we spent at the mall, I noticed that Charlotte was unusually cranky and fussy. She normally would spend a good portion of time sleeping in the stroller while we walked around the mall, but on this day, I wound up holding her the entire time. She cried a lot and I couldn’t settle her at all.
When we got home later that day, I noticed that Charlotte developed a runny nose and a pretty persistent cough. Her mood was still pretty cranky, but I didn’t panic. Heck, I thought nothing of it. I had been through infant colds before with my first daughter, so I didn’t feel the need to rush to the doctor or anything. I put on the humidifier, breastfed her to sleep and went to bed myself.
In the middle of the night, we woke up to pained cries from Charlotte’s room. When we walked in, she was crying in an unusual way. She almost looked like she was having difficulty breathing. We immediately brought her to the emergency room, where she was given an oxygen mask. The gravity of the situation hit like a ton of bricks when the ER doctor looked at me and asked sternly, “How long has she been like this?” I had totally been expecting to be told to take little Charlotte home, maybe start her on an antibiotic, and in a few days she’ll be fully back to normal. Not this time. I’ll never forget that look on the doctor’s face and the tone of his voice. My little baby was admitted to the ICU.
We wound up staying in the hospital for about 3 days, during which time she made a complete recovery. When we asked the doctors how this all happened, they told us that she had developed bronchiolitis, most likely due to an RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) infection. It’s actually not an uncommon occurrence for infants, but it can be very dangerous if not treated promptly.
Did you know that October is National RSV Awareness Month? It’s an important time to spread awareness about respiratory syncytial virus and educate parents on the signs & symptoms of the virus. In doing some research about RSV, I was surprised to learn that RSV is a highly contagious virus that affects almost 100% of infants by the age of two. The most common time of year for infection is between November through March. For many babies, the symptoms of RSV look a lot like the respiratory infection of the common cold or the flu. In premature babies (born at less than 35 weeks gestation), RSV can develop into a more serious infection (Charlotte was born at full term by the way).
If your baby is displaying any of the following symptoms of RSV disease, receiving immediate medical attention is necessary:
- constant coughing or wheezing
- difficulty breathing
- bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- unusual lethargy
- fever over 100.4 degrees F
Taking some basic steps to keep germs at bay & reduce the risk of RSV infection is an easy way to help protect your family.
- Request that everyone wash their hands and/or use antibacterial gel before getting near your baby.
- Wash toys & play room surfaces with a diluted bleach solution to kill germs before they have a chance to spread.
- Keep your baby away from large crowds and anyone who is currently sick.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
When it comes to young babies, taking care of their lungs is of the utmost importance. With the right tips, you can help reduce the likelihood of germ transmission. Be sure to also ask your child’s pediatrician if your child may be at high risk for severe RSV disease.
Now, I’d love to hear from you. Have your kids ever experienced RSV or another scary health moment? How do you keep germ transmission under control?