Pediatric Childcare & Wellness
Our blog featuring Dr. McKillip and Shelly Nalbone. Email topic requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes infection of the lungs and breathing passages, is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. RSV is highly contagious and can be spread through droplets containing the virus when someone coughs or sneezes. It also can live on surfaces (such as countertops or doorknobs) and on hands and clothing, so can be easily spread when a person touches something contaminated. Because RSV can be easily spread by touching infected people or surfaces, frequent hand washing is key in preventing its transmission. Fortunately, most cases of RSV are mild and require no specific treatment from doctors. RSV season is usually from fall to early spring and we are already seeing cases in the community. Antibiotics aren't used because RSV is a virus and antibiotics are only effective against bacteria. Medication may sometimes be given to help open respiratory airways. If your child gets RSV or other respiratory viruses there are some things that you can do at home to make them feel better.
Make a child with an RSV infection as comfortable as possible, allow time for recovery, and provide plenty of fluids.
The last part can be tricky, however, because babies may not feel like drinking. In that case, offer fluids in small amounts at more frequent intervals than usual.
To help your child breathe easier, use a cool-mist vaporizer to keep the aire moist. If your child is uncomfortable & too young to blow his/her nose, use a nasal aspirator or bulb suction to remove nasal secretions.
Treat fever with acetaminophen as needed.
For more info see www.kidshealth.org