You need to know what you’re up against! Whether your child spends just a few hours a week in daycare, or is in school all day, they’re at a higher risk of contracting contagious germs and viruses, like RSV.
The Respiratory Syncytial Virus can live on pretty much any surface – doorknobs, countertops, toys, bedding – for a few hours. It’s spread through touching, hugging and kissing. Just like a cold. RSV spreads more easily in daycares and schools as kids are always sharing everything – high chairs, toys, and tables – and they eat and nap in close proximity to one another.
The symptoms of serious RSV infection are several – an awful, persistent cough or wheeze, trouble breathing, a high fever, accompanied by extreme fatigue, blueish color around the lips and fingernails, and not much of an appetite. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for RSV. This is why it’s so important for parents and caregivers to know how to help prevent the virus from spreading. While my kids have never suffered from RSV, I’ve heard of many cases in the neighborhood and do my best to protect my kids (and their playmates) from any this and any other virus! And if you think you’re safe because it’s almost spring, think again. The CDC defines “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March.
Some RSV prevention tips:
- Keep your child home if she/he is sick! Even a mild case of RSV can be spread to other children.
- Always wash your hands, your child’s hands, and ask others to do the same. Especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
- Show kids how to cover their mouths when they cough and sneeze.
- Don’t let your kids share straws, drinking cups, or eating utensils with anyone.
- Disinfect surfaces that people touch often – doorknobs, faucets, counters.
- Wash/clean toys, clothes, blankets, and sheets often.
- After wiping a child’s nose, immediately throw the tissue away (and wash your hands!)
- Change your child’s clothes when they get home from daycare or school. If you work in a school setting, do the same!
- Avoid crowded places and other sick children during RSV season.
- If your child is especially high-risk for getting sick, consider hiring a nanny instead of using daycare.
Disclosure: This is a compensated post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect.