NICU RSV Season Tips & Tricks
RSV/Flu season is coming. Here are a few Tips & Tricks we recommend to families & loved ones in the NICU (or NEWBORNS in home setting) to prevent RSV.
FIRSTLY, WHAT IS RSV? Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus which affects the respiratory tract. It can affect most children within their first 2 years of life. WHEN IS RSV SEASON? Peak RSV season varies and generally lasts from November to April.
HOW IS RSV SPREAD & WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS?
The virus is easy to catch because it is spread by:
1. Close physical contact (such as kissing or shaking hands) 2. Sneezing and coughing 3. Contact with surfaces or objects that are contaminated with the virus
(e.g., baby toys or furniture) 4. For most babies, RSV infection causes a fever and symptoms similar to a cold, such as: - coughing (dry cough) - Runny or stuff nose - mild headache - sore throat - feeling unwell However, RSV can cause more serious problems for some babies, including pneumonia (lung infection) and bronchiolitis (infection of the tiny airways in the lungs). If either of these occurs, the baby may need to be hospitalized. WHO IS AT RISK FOR RSV? Certain babies have a higher risk of serious health problems from RSV infection (NICU babies especially!!) (Specifically: Premature, Chronic Lung, Cardiac, and immature immune systems of our NICU babies) HOW TO HELP PREVENT RSV? 1. Do not smoke. Make your home and car smoke free, and keep your baby away from secondhand smoke. 2. Wash your hands often, especially before touching your baby. 3. Keep your baby away from people who are sick with fevers or colds, especially if your baby is premature or under 2 months of age. 4. Keep countertops and other surfaces clean in your home, and wash toys frequently. Do not share drinking glasses. 5.Avoid crowded places where your baby will be exposed to large numbers of people. This will reduce the chances that your baby will come in contact with people infected with RSV. 6. If possible, breast-feed your baby for at least 6 months after birth. This can help reduce their risk of infections, including respiratory infections.
Tori Meskin, BSN RNC-NIC is a registered nurse in Los Angeles & Orange County metropolitan area. Working in Level IV-II NICUs.
In addition to being a wife, daughter, & nurse, Tori is currently studying to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). She has obtained her National Certification (NICU) and worked as a local traveler pursuing bedside experiences in several NICU settings.
Tori enjoys time with her new hubby, creating content, learning about new patient populations, riding horses, weekend beach or ski time, time with family & friends & sharing all of her life Tips along the way!
Follow her NICU & Lifestyle blog journey as she juggles married life, nurse life, & enjoying life’s adventures!