This post was sponsored by AstraZeneca as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a scary diagnosis for parents. But, unfortunately, it’s a common diagnosis. My family has experienced RSV first hand. That’s right. It’s possible for your little ones to get the virus even in places where it doesn’t get that cold. Here in Georgia, the virus is common, too. By knowing what to look for you can make sure your little one gets treatment right away. Plus, there are many ways to help prevent the virus. 

Our oldest, Haley, came in the world mid-August. Her birthday is actually two days after mine. Yep, I was in labor with her on my birthday. I spent pretty much all summer pregnant. I was miserable! But, she was worth it. She’s still worth it. I had quite a few friends who were pregnant when I was. I would say about 70% of them had babies who suffered quite in a few illnesses in their first year. I felt so lucky. Because, Haley was far from a sickly child. She was actually pretty healthy. I may owe thanks to grandma for keeping her while I worked.

Our happiness faded a bit around her fifth month of life. I knew right away she was sick. Because, well, she never got sick. It was January and the weather began getting cold here in Georgia. But, let’s let reality set in a little. “Cold” in a Georgia girls term is around 40 degrees or so. We all know what cold weather brings. It brings frost, ice, and snow. But, it also brings those dreaded seasonal bugs. At only 5 months old, Haley was diagnosed with Respiratory syncytial virus, better known as, RSV.

I didn’t know she had RSV. I thought may she caught a seasonal cold. But, it was a little more than that. The symptoms didn’t point me to the virus. Because, they were all symptoms I experienced in the past. I honestly didn’t know what symptoms to look for when it came to RSV.

rsv awareness

RSV: Haley’s Symptoms

The First Symptoms
  • Decreased appetite
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing

In the beginning, Haley’s activity level was unchanged. So, I figured she felt “good.” I just monitored the symptoms. In the beginning, I would frequently take her temperature. It never rose about 99.0 degrees. A couple days after the first RSV symptoms began, I noticed a change.

The Second Symptoms
  • Fever (101.0 – 103.1)
  • Decrease in activity level
  • Fussy, fussy, fussy!
  • More frequent naps

Once the fever came into play, I contacted Haley’s pediatrician. They suggested I bring her in. Thankfully, they were able to see us the same day. A sick baby is a scary thing. Especially a sick baby that never gets sick.

When Haley was seen at the pediatrician’s office the nurse first took her vitals. Including her weight, height, blood pressure, and temperature. Her temperature at the time wasn’t that high. Then the doctor checked her oxygen level. It wasn’t up to par. They kept switching her different ways. She enjoyed it. It was painful for me to watch. Still, it never rose to where they thought it should be. I can’t remember the exact number. But, it was enough to end Haley up in the hospital.

Her pediatrician listened to her lungs. She said she could hear wheezing. She explained to me about RSV. What it is, how you get it, and how you can help prevent it and the spread of the virus. Then she said she wanted to test Haley for it. My first thought was that it was a blood test. She was going to poke my sweet baby girl! But, I was wrong. I guess that’s why I’m not a health professional. 😉

Thankfully, testing your little one for RSV does not involve drawing blood. They take a cotton swab looking device and stick it in your little one’s nose. Okay, it’s a pretty long cotton swab. I mean, it may be somewhat uncomfortable, too. But, it’s quick and it’s easy. Plus, if you have a cool pediatrician like we do, the test can be ran at the office! Yep, that’s right. You get to wait for the results and get them the same day! Convenient, huh? After about 10 minutes we had our results. Haley was positive for RSV.

When we were first told Haley’s diagnosis, I cringed. I knew about RSV! The other moms told me the horror stories. Oh no! What was I going to do?! My mind was running a million miles an hour. So many questions. But, they wouldn’t come out. Then her pediatrician let me in on a few facts about RSV.

Haley’s Pediatricians RSV Facts

  • Almost all children, at some point in time, get the virus.
  • It’s pretty much the leading reason babies get hospitalized.
  • How severe the virus is differs from kid to kid.
  • RSV is a virus. So, RSV can not be treated with antibiotics.
  • It is contagious.

Once Haley was diagnosed with the virus, I took to the internet. That’s what everyone does, right!? Thankfully RSVProtection.com has all the information I need. I found out there how it’s spread, the symptoms, treatments, and how to prevent RSV.

rsv infographic

Haley was hospitalized that day. Her oxygen level was not where it needed to be. So, they hooked my tiny baby girl up to artificial oxygen. She spent two days in the hospital. Those two days seemed like the longest two days of my life. But, towards the end of her hospital stay, she was changing back to her normal self.

Haley caught RSV in January, during its peak season. The virus is said to be common from November to March in the United States. That must be why October is National RSV Awareness Month. A whole month dedicated to educating society about RSV! It falls right at the perfect time, too. Right when the air starts to get a chill to it. When those pesky symptoms start to show their face.

But, thankfully, there are steps you can take! Steps that will help make sure your family is as protected as can be against this, sometimes life threatening, virus.

RSV Protection

  • Frequent hand washing
  • Avoid being around people who show symptoms of the virus
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Make sure all surfaces are clean and disinfected
  • Don’t share forks, spoons, knives, or drinks

There was one key factor that Haley’s pediatrician stressed to us when she was diagnosed with the virus. She expressed to us how important it was to keep her comfortable. These methods help shorten the duration of the virus, too!

 RSV Symptom Relief at Home

  • Keep your little one’s room slightly warm
  • Invest in a cool-mist humidifier
  • Fluids, fluids, fluids!
  • Saline nose drops are a must
  • Prop your little one up for easier breathing

Once Haley was diagnosed with RSV, the symptoms lasted a long week. Awareness of the virus is important to my family and I. We were lucky Haley’s hospital stay was only two days. Plus, thankfully, not all little ones with RSV are hospitalized.

Because of our experience, I think it’s important everyone is RSV educated. RSVProtection.com offers a lot of information on the virus. Including how someone gets the virus, how it’s spread, and ways to prevent it. So helpful when you’re trying to decode your little ones symptoms. You’ll find great tips on how to keep your little ones healthy during the upcoming RSV season! It’s important that we protect their little lungs.

If you have any experience with RSV, I’d love to hear about it. My youngest is 11 months old. Since the virus is mostly seen by 2 years old, I’m worried. Are there are additional symptoms your little one with RSV experienced?

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