RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) in kids is an extremely contagious virus that causes a harmful infection in the lungs. In children, it can be a common cause of many breathing problems and respiratory issues.
When it comes to adults dealing with RSV, the symptoms tend to be less harmful. Most grown-ups will experience RSV with a slight sore throat, or symptoms that associate with a common cold.
However, Respiratory Syncytial Virus in children can be a much different (and more dangerous) experience.
Since RSV is an infection, it can lead to other illnesses in children, and is especially known as a common cause for breathing problems and other respiratory conditions, which can actually end up being more serious in the long run.
If a child has other pre-existing conditions, such as heart problems, a weak immune system, etc., RSV can come across even worse.
While most adults can shrug it off as a minor inconvenience or discomfort, when RSV is present in children, the breathing problems it can cause are something not to take lightly, and if your child is having trouble breathing clearly for any reason, it’s important to get them to a doctor as soon as possible.
Let’s take a closer look at just what causes this virus, and what you can do about it as a parent, to make sure your child knows the precautionary steps they can take to help fight against it.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus, like just about any other virus, can be extremely contagious, and children can actually be more prone to it, because of their lifestyles. Not only does it live in saliva, which can be passed from person to person by something as simple as a sneeze.
RSV also lives on both hard and porous surfaces. This means it can live on anything from countertops to clothing, and doorknobs to playground equipment.
If your child attends a daycare center, school, etc., it’s easy for them to pick up something just by going through their daily routine. If one of your child’s friends or classmates has RSV, there’s a good chance your child could pick it up fairly easily.
However, RSV is most commonly found in small children, and even babies, who can often get it from older children bringing the virus into the house.
It can be a terrifying situation to see your baby coughing or struggling to breathe, so consider RSV as a possible diagnosis if your baby seems to be showing any signs of respiratory issues.
RSV can quickly cause more serious respiratory issues if not taken care of, such as bronchitis, or even pneumonia. While these can show up as minor cases sometimes, when it comes to a small child, it’s best not to take any chances.
Wash Hands. Most viruses, as a whole, aren’t really preventable. However, the best thing you can do to make sure your kids are as protected as possible is to have them wash their hands often.
This can be especially helpful if they’re around other kids, in a school, daycare, etc., throughout the day. Remember, RSV can live on surfaces, so even touching something that has RSV can cause problems.
Antibody Injections. If you have a small infant with other immune or respiratory disorders, you can take extra precautions with a regular injection of RSV antibodies. Unfortunately, this has to be a regular injection since the antibodies wear off quickly, and it may not be the most efficient and effective way to keep your baby safe, if they’re not considered to be at an elevated risk for the virus.
Talk to Your Pediatrician. Talking to your pediatrician about RSV and the steps you can take to lower your child’s risk is a good place to start.
Your child’s doctor will also be able to give you more insight into if they are at a higher risk for the virus than others, in which case, there may be a more hands-on solution. However, RSV occurs in almost every child, even before they are two years old.
Most respiratory illnesses will fade away on their own, and even though it can be frightening to hear your child cough, have a harder time breathing, etc.,
RSV is more common than you might think. It’s important to regularly see a pediatrician when it comes to common childhood health issues, and RSV is no exception. Make sure your child is breathing easy, taking the proper precautionary steps to prevent RSV, and call your doctor if you have an doubts or questions.