Thursday, November 17, 2011

Premature Awareness Day: November 17 2011

I have been blessed with two beautiful baby boys and could not be happier. Both of my pregnancies were pretty standard. I had terrible morning sickness for the first trimester and then an uneventful pregnancy from there on out. I delivered both of my children just a day or two before their due date. This is not the norm for pregnancies in my family.

All of my sisters have given birth to preemies. My older sister gave birth to her son at 36 weeks. My little sister gave birth to her daughter at 35 weeks. My sister-in-law gave birth to her daughter at 32 weeks. And all of them came out breathing on their own, which was a miracle in and of itself. So when I found out that Mom Central was doing an RSV and Preemie Awareness blog tour with MedImmune I really wanted in!

As a mother of two I believe in being educated on what is out there. From vaccination issues to diseases that are making the rounds in my community, I like to stay abreast of information involving my children. Before I was offered a chance to be a part of this blog tour I had never heard of RSV.

What is RSV?
RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus) is a common, easily spread virus that affects thousands of babies and young children each year. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), “RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia in children under 1 year of age in the United States. Each year, 75,000 to 125,000 children in this age group are hospitalized due to RSV infection. Almost all children are infected with the virus by their second birthday, but only a small percentage develops severe disease.”

Premature infants and children less than 2 years of age with congenital heart or chronic lung disease, as well as children with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk. For most children, RSV causes moderate to severe cold-like symptoms. For preemies, however, RSV can be detrimental due to their underdeveloped lungs.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Coughing or wheezing that does not stop.
  • Fast breathing or gasping for breath.
  • Spread-out nostrils and/or caved-in chest when trying to breathe.
  • A bluish color around the mouth or fingernails.
  • A fever. (In infants under 3 months of age, a fever greater than 100.4°F rectal is a cause for concern)
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of the symptoms above.
How to prevent RSV:
RSV spreads just like a common-cold virus.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your baby. Ask other people to wash their hands before handling your baby (They should understand. If they do not, they do not need to hold your baby).
  • Don't let anyone smoke near your baby or in your home.
  • Wash your baby's clothes, bedding, and toys frequently.
  • Avoid taking your baby into crowds.
  • Avoid people with colds.
  • Visit for more information about RSV and its prevention, detection, and treatment.

According to the March of Dimes, every year 13 million babies are born prematurely worldwide. A million of these babies never get to celebrate their first birthday, and many more face serious, lifelong health challenges. In honor of Prematurity Awareness Day help raise awareness! Share information and educate yourselves and others about RSV.

As an aside, both of my boys are currently battling a cold. Don’t worry though, I am keeping a close eye on them to make sure this cold is nothing more than the common cold rearing its ugly head.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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