Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Preemies and the Importance of RSV Prevention

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MedImmune. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

Preemies will forever be close to my heart.

Our kids may be out of the NICU and running rampant around our house now, but living through those early premature days is something that I will never forget. Born at 27 weeks, 6 days, the NICU has left an emotional scar that can pop up at unexpected times.The fear. The exhaustion. Their tiny bodies. Knowing that I couldn't do much to help them.

The truth is that the effects of prematurity don't end when babies leave the hospital. It's a long hard road to the point where kids are able to function as normal, healthy, full-term babies. And we still aren't there yet.

World Prematurity Day is coming up on November 17th, and I think it's important to revisit a few preemie facts. It's not an easy road for families who are walking the path, but you can help make it a little easier for them by being in the know!

This year, I want to focus on one the scariest prospects for us when we brought out kids home:

RSV is a very common seasonal virus that typically shows up between November and March every year. It is so prevalent, that most children deal with the virus by the time they reach age 2. It really isn't a big deal in kids who are healthy, full-term individuals, and the virus simply manifests as a common cold, but to preemies, RSV can be deadly. Approximately 125,000 infants are hospitalized every year, with about 200 deaths occurring from it. And preemies are twice as likely to end up in the hospital from it. Amazingly enough, many parents have never even heard of RSV!

RSV is so contagious. It's spread by the normal coughing, sneezing, touching that help spread the common cold. The virus lives for hours on skin and surfaces, so it makes it even easier to contract, and once you have it, there is no treatment. The best way to fight RSV is to prevent it.

The good news is that you can help reduce the spread of the disease by taking some precaution. These are all things that we did when our kids came home from the NICU in an effort to protect them:

  • Wash your hands. Often! And tell everyone else to wash their hands too. Extra points if you use hot water!
  • Disinfect toys and keep blankets, sheets, and clothes clean. Remember, the RSV virus lives on surfaces for several hours!
  • Crowds aren't a good idea during RSV season. Neither is having your kids hang out around other little kids. It's hard to avoid them, but it is an excellent defense. Our family was on lockdown for two winter seasons after bringing our babies home from the hospital. Was it fun? No. But it was necessary to protect our kids.
  • Don't allow smoking around your kids. Smoking impairs lung function, and little kids need all of the lung function they can possibly have. Smoking will make it that much harder for them to recover if they get sick.
  • If someone has recently been sick or is currently sick, reschedule that playdate or skip that party. It's just not worth it.

Please take a minute to read up on RSV and RSV Prevention. It's important!

And don't forget to love on a family with preemies on World Prematurity Day! :)

This is an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MedImmune. For more info, please see my disclaimer page.


  1. that picture of ellie made my heart sink. SOO small. But also made me so grateful for you that you now have 4 happy and (mostly) healthy toddlers!


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