When Bear was 5 1/2 months old, she began having seizures. I remember all to well the night when we drove around 2 hours to our nearest children’s hospital, only to be told it was gas. They humored me by putting me in an ER room, and at around 4 am, another round of Infantile Spasms racked her body.
I tried my hardest to take a video while pushing the button for help. Of course Bear would wait for the one moment when Daddy Head stepped out of the room to do her thing.
The doctors put us in a room on the regular floor while we awaited an EEG that would forever change my world. While walking the hallways, I would see rooms with special notices on the door stating the importance of wearing a mask and washing hands. I wouldn’t understand the severity of this until hours later.
When Bear had her biggest round of seizures ever, the doctor told us our daughter would not be normal. We caught the condition early, but still had to put her on a heavy drug that would knock out her immune system and her ability to fight infection. Those above mentioned rooms would become our enemy of sorts.
You see, those children were fighting RSV, a common, seasonal virus affecting 2/3 of babies by age 1, and almost 100% of children before age 2.
Respiratory syncytial virus, RSV, is highly contagious and the germs can live on surfaces for hours, which makes daycare centers and other places where children are playing and sharing toys high traffic areas to contract the disease.
The typical RSV season runs from November through March, so when Bear was a baby, our many hospital stays brought us in contact with many families that were affected by the disease. My heart would break for them because of the seriousness of what they were facing. And it made me more aware of what to look for since we knew that Bear had to stay away.
RSV symptoms display themselves as the common cold, and can include:
- 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)
A child that has milder symptoms of RSV will likely be fine without a hospital stay, but keep in mind that they can spread the disease to others. Once contracted, there is no cure for RSV, so if you think your child may have it, it is best to keep them home and away from others.
To get more information, be sure to follow #RSVProtection on Twitter and check out RSVProtection.com.
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.