Most children under the age of two contract RSV at least once. Many of these infants’ symptoms are consistent with symptoms of the common cold, although some children become very ill with RSV. Continue reading to learn how you can protect your child from getting RSV and what you should do if they are diagnosed with this illness.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a virus that causes respiratory illness. This virus affects the lungs, throat, and nose and usually occurs from late Fall through early spring months. Due to the social distancing and mask-wearing in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, other seasonal respiratory illnesses like RSV and Influenza (Flu), there were fewer cases; however, both RSV and the Flu have been steadily on the rise since pandemic safety measures have relaxed.
RSV in infants and children typically lasts five to seven days and possesses cold-like symptoms, which can convert into a lower respiratory tract infection, like Bronchitis or Pneumonia. Are you aware of the signs of a common upper respiratory tract infection vs. a lower respiratory tract infection? We will break them down for you:
Symptoms of an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
Symptoms of a Lower Respiratory Tract Infection
Call your child’s pediatrician if they exhibit symptoms of RSV or a lower respiratory tract infection. If you believe your child may be experiencing a medical emergency, seek immediate medical care at your local Emergency Room.
Since babies can’t talk, it can often be challenging to understand when they are experiencing discomfort or pain, but there are symptoms you can look out for when determining if your child is having trouble breathing. Chest wall retraction occurs when infants use the muscles between their rib cage or neck to breathe. Look at your child’s ribcage as they inhale; if you see if forming an upside-down “V” under their neck, they are working too hard to breathe.
Immunizations play an essential role in keeping your infant protected from RSV. Ensuring that your family receives their annual flu shot and keeping your children up to date on their vaccinations is also vital. Other ways to protect your child from RSV include:
There is currently no cure for RSV. If your child becomes diagnosed with RSV, here are some things parents can do to help ease the discomfort:
Are you concerned about your child’s health? SuraMed Health Center is here to put your worries to rest. We work alongside parents to keep children happy and healthy. We have multiple pediatrics clinics to better serve you in West Palm Beach, Wellington, Greenacres, Boca Raton, and Port St. Lucie. To schedule an appointment, fill out this form.