RSV, what’s that?
That’s exactly what I said when they called me from my child’s school to tell me a boy from his classroom had RSV, a boy who happened to be my child’s best friend and with whom we had a play date 2 days before! So of course I was extremely worried, but I had no idea what was RSV, so as a very good mom reporter, I immediatly googled RSV and I was shocked!
How could I not know about RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus) which is a common, seasonal virus that affects two-thirds of all infants by age one and almost 100% of babies by age two. I was scared for my 2 year old and worried about how misinformed I was! But I’m not alone, only 1/3 of moms say they’ve heard of the RSV virus, have you?
RSV is highly contagious, so I can see why school authorities closed the school for one day for a “Deep school clean” RSV can live on surfaces (doorknobs, countertops, toys, bedding) for several hours and is often spread through touching, hugging and kissing.
Imagined how much cleaning they had to do since children are constantly sharing toys, tables and high chairs as well as eating and napping in close quarters.
School authorities told us if we wanted to keep our child at home for the rest of the week it was probably better, so I did and I monitored my child every single minute, making sure he didn’t have any RSV symptoms such as:
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast or troubled breathing
- Spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe
- Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F in infants under 3 months of age)
The RSV season runs from November through March and it is important that parents and educators be on the lookout for the signs of RSV in children.
Teaching Children to be clean
Learning what RSV is, really helped me, but it doesn’t mean my child was going to be safe from contracting the virus. It doesn’t matter if a child spends 25% or 100% of the time in a daycare or school setting, they are still at risk for contracting contagious germs and viruses, like RSV because kids go to school sick and this age there’s always lots of touching, kissing and sharing right? So all I could do is to teach my child about germs and viruses and this is what I did and share my tips with you, some tips are extreme but they worked for me.
- Explain to your children what germs and viruses are, use pictures, as you know, kids are like sponges and some are very alert by age 2.
- Explain to them what a sick person looks like, (mucus etc..) We don’t want to raise a clean freak child, but if they can identify a sick child maybe they won’t hug him, kiss him, touch him etc..
- Teach them important is to wash their hands before eating for at least 20 seconds, since a 2 year old can’t count yet, teach them a song (ABC’s) and tell them to sing it and when the song is over their hands are clean, my kid loves to wash his hands because of this.
- Include a plastic bag with wipes in his lunchbox in case he forgets to wash his hands or if the surface is dirty he can clean it.
The point is to create the habit of being clean and have clean hands all the time.
I know our busy schedules had forced us to send our sick kids to school (I know, I’ve done it) but unfortunetly there’s no cure for RSV, for this reason, it’s always best to keep a sick child home when possible, to prevent the spread of germs and viruses.
Prevention is key
Prevention is key, so it’s also important to remember to keep toys, clothes, blankets, and sheets clean and avoid crowds and other sick children during RSV season.
For more tips on how to protect children from RSV at home and school visit: RSV Protection Site
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with RSV Protection and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always , all my opinions are my own.