RSV and Baby Etiquette

As mama to a baby, I easily remember the days when I first brought him home from the hospital and out into the world.  I'll admit that with my sons, I was really careful about having visitors wash their hands and use sanitizer for fear of what they might spread to the newborn.   
I was lucky that both of my boys were after their due date, rather than prematurely, and that they weren't high-risk babies.  Have you heard about RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus?  I had heard of it during my pregnancies, but never realized how harmful it can be for babies born prior to 36 weeks gestation or babies with compromised immune systems.

RSV is a common virus that all babies usually contract by their second birthday.  It's not typically serious for most babies, but for those born prematurely or with health issues, it can be deadly because of weakened immune systems and underdeveloped lungs.
Often as a new parent, you feel overprotective of your baby, and maybe your friends or relatives think you're overreacting and being paranoid when you insist that guests, children and strangers keep their distance from your newborn, particularly high-risk babies like preemies.
You can still protect a baby's fragile help while being respectful of guests.  After all, there's nothing more precious that your child's life.

A few tips to remember when a loved one has a new baby: 
  • Call before you visit. New parents need time to set up a routine and bond. By giving them time to do so before you visit, you are respecting the new family. 
  • Postpone a visit if you feel that you may be getting sick, have recently been ill or exposed to illness. 
  • Remember that parents know best. If you feel they are being overprotective or overly cautious, just consider that only they know what’s best for the health of their new son or daughter. 
  •  Offer to do something to ease their responsibilities as they spend time as a family, such as laundry, cooking or dishes. Sleep-deprived moms and dads will appreciate your help! 
  •  Please make sure your clothes are clean and you haven’t smoked or been around smokers recently. Smoke can be very dangerous for underdeveloped lungs.
If you do schedule a visit with a new baby: 
  • Wash your hands frequently—upon entering the home and especially prior to holding the baby. Parents, and the new baby, will appreciate it. 
  • Leave toddlers at home, especially during the winter months. Young children, especially if they attend day care or preschool, often carry germs and viruses, like RSV, that are easily spread.
Your baby is so vulnerable, especially if born prematurely, and RSV virus can live on objects like doorknobs, toys and counter tops for hours, so why take the risk.

For more information on RSV, and baby etiquette, visit the RSV Protection website.
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.


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