Nov 132011

November 17th is RSV Prevention and Preemie Awareness Day…be informed and help spread the word…it could save an infant’s life.

According to a March of Dimes survey, most expecting parents don’t discuss preterm birth with their doctor during prenatal care, even if they are at high risk leaving parents unaware of what to expect if their baby is preterm.  On November 17 – World Prematurity Day – they’re hoping to help change this.

A premature birth is defined as being born before 37 weeks completed gestation.  Each day there are more than 1,400 premature births in the US and more than 13 million in the world.  Although these numbers have been noted to be on a decline – the numbers are still alarmingly high.  are Preemies are at a greater risk for RSV as often times their most critical organs haven’t developed fully and neither has their immune systems have had time to fully mature.  Preterm infants often experience difficulty with breathing, feeding and maintaining temperature.  Preterm infants are more likely to develop infections, and because their lungs are underdeveloped, they are more susceptible to respiratory problems.

RSV Infographic (click to enlarge)

Most infants, 2 and under, have contracted RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). In most full-term babies, symptoms are similar to those of the common cold and parents may not even know their child has the virus.  However, because they don’t have the antibodies needed to fight off infection, preterm infants—even those born just a few weeks early—are at increased risk for developing an RSV-related infection, often requiring medical attention or hospitalization.  Parents should speak with their pediatrician to find out if their baby is at high risk for developing severe RSV disease, and how they can prevent against RSV this winter.

RSV Quick Facts:

  • RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.
  • RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
  • Certain regions have longer RSV seasons than others, with the season beginning as early as July (e.g., Florida) or ending in April.
  • Despite its prevalence, one-third of mothers have never heard of RSV.

Prevention is Key:        
There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take the following preventive steps to help protect their child:

  • Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
  • Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid large crowds and people who may be sick
  • Never let anyone smoke near your baby
  • Speak with your child’s doctor if you believe he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available
Be Aware of Symptoms:
  • Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
  • Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
  • High fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Difficulty feeding
To learn more about RSV, visit  For more about the specialized health needs of preterm infants, visit

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

  2 Responses to “RSV Prevention and Preemie Awareness Day – November 17”

Comments (2)
  1. Great article!! I walk for the March of Dimes every year, and have for the last 5.

    I'd like to know where you got the picture of the woman holding the baby, because she is seriously MY TWIN!! I've sent the pic to friends and family, and they all thought it was me! lol

    Mindy Grant

  2. Mindy – it's people like you who make a difference! The picture actually came from Mom Consulting when they asked if I wanted to do this campaign. Needless to say, I don't know where they got it. It's a beautiful picture. It's been said we all have a look alike :-). I can certainly see a resemblance when I go to your profile 🙂

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