Nine years ago, our family was directly affected by RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) when our older son contracted it at six months of age. Luckily, the doctor in the emergency room immediately diagnosed him and he was put on a treatment plan to get him better. We were also very fortunate that he got sick as an older baby as it is more dangerous to younger babies or babies born prematurely.
When our son was diagnosed with RSV, it was a very scary time for us. Although we had heard about how dangerous RSV is to infants, we were not fully aware of its effects. Our son became very sick from it and had trouble breathing due to all of the congestion and mucus that he had. It was very frustrating, as a parent, to not be able to immediately make him better. Thankfully, he eventually did get better but I think that not being fully educated about RSV made it an even scarier experience for all of us.
The RSV season runs from November through March and it is important that parents and educators be on the lookout for the signs of RSV in children:
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast or troubled breathing
- Spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe
- Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F in infants under 3 months of age)
As an educator, I see how quickly germs and bacteria spread within an academic environment. It is very difficult to prevent the spread of diseases in the classroom because children come to school sick and spend 25% to 100% of their time there around other children and adults. Despite my best efforts to make hand soap, hand sanitizer, tissues, and disinfectant wipes, germs still manage to spread through contact with surfaces on desks, chairs, doors, and just about everything that my students touch.
RSV is no exception and can live on most surfaces including doorknobs, countertops, toys, bedding, etc. It can survive in the air for several hours and can even be transmitted through touching, hugging, and kissing. These are some of the activities that all students, but especially younger students, love engaging in and they can be seen with their arms around each other or hugging in the hallways between classes.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for RSV and this is why it is very important to keep sick children home from school whenever possible in order to prevent the spread of germs and viruses. It is especially prudent for parents to wash their hands and to make sure their children wash their hands frequently during RSV season. Keeping toys, blankets, and sheets clean at all times also helps to stop the spread of RSV germs.
Parents and educators alike can get tips on how to protect children from RSV by accessing the RSV Protection Site. Since there is no cure for RSV, prevention is the key to stopping its spread in homes and schools alike.
Disclosure: This compensated post was written as part of a blogging program through Latina Bloggers Connect. Any statements made in this post are the author’s honest opinions. I only recommend products or services I use personally and I believe will be “family friendly.” I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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