Every parent wants to keep their newborn happy and healthy when they return home from the hospital, but parents of premature babies may face a greater challenge protecting their children. As preterm birth can come with complications, many preemies require special medical attention, particularly during the winter months when there is an increase in contagious seasonal illnesses.
Each year worldwide, 13 million babies are born prematurely. Despite these startling numbers, many parents still aren’t aware of the risks of premature birth — the leading cause of neonatal death. In fact, 75 percent of parents don’t know the definition of prematurity (birth at or before 37 weeks gestation), and during prenatal care, most pregnant women don’t ask their healthcare provider about the risk of delivering prematurely and the potential consequences of preterm birth for their child.
Having a newborn can be scary in itself and worrying about having a sick newborn is even scarier. The good news is RSV can be prevented.
Here are some tips to help you prevent the spread of RSV disease:
1. Parents should wash their hands often and ask others to do the same. (This goes for siblings too – especially school-aged children!)
2.Keep baby’s clothes, toys, sheets, blankets, and clothes clean.
3. Avoid large crowds and other young children during RSV season.
4. Don’t ever let anyone smoke near your baby.
5. Keep baby away from people who are sick or have recently been sick.
Still want to learn more about RSV? There’s an easy way to do just that! Visit www.RSVprotection.com for lots more information and make sure that you are aware of everything. There, you’ll find out how to talk to your child’s pediatrician about their risk factors for contracting RSV, data about RSV and how it is affecting your area, and real stories about families that have experienced RSV.