Shanisty Ireland is a mother of three sons. Last year, her two older sons kept getting sick. Coughing, sneezing, and fevers were passed back and forth. For some time, her 5-week old son Adam avoided getting sick.
One day, however, he became very ill. Shanisty shared, “He threw up on my dad. It wasn’t just spit up. He wasn’t opening his eyes and he was really starting to have that labored breathing. His head was bobbing; you could see his rib cage when he sucked in.”
Shanisty rushed her son to the pediatrician. There, Adam was diagnosed respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Most children, when they have RSV, have cold-like symptoms for a short period of time.
A few days after their visit to the pediatrician, Adam’s condition had worsened. He had a fever and wasn’t urinating or eating. After taking him to the hospital, he received IV fluids and breathing treatments.
Shanisty shared, “I didn’t recognize how serious it was until it was almost too late. RSV can hit any child and any person at any given time. I would really love for people to understand that and know what the signs are.”
RSV is a fairly common virus. In fact, almost all children catch it before they turn 2. For most children, it quickly passes. However three to four percent of children get extremely sick.
If your child under 3-years-old is experiencing wheezing or shortness of breath, it is important to take them to a doctor as soon as possible. They could be experiencing the more extreme side effects of RSV.
At this point, there is no specific treatment for RSV, so it’s important to catch it early. If you think your child or a child close to you might be experiencing a bad case of RSV, take them to the doctor as soon as possible.
Parents and family members should also do everything they can to prevent the spread of infection. These preventative measures should help:
Wash your hands regularly
Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
Avoid crowded places when viruses are spreading
Clean surfaces regularly
Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth
While Adam did make a full recovery, he was in the hospital for four days. It’s important to be educated about the viruses that your children might experience.
In other news, Jimmy Kimmel’s 7-month-old son just had his second heart surgery. Find out more here.