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RSV Season Safety Tips: Keeping Kids Healthy

Illness Prevention Advice from Advance ER

With the colder months speedily approaching, it’s important to be aware of RSV risk. As defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an illness that typically presents in children during the late fall months and can affect the nose, throat, and lungs. Symptoms may mimic those of a common cold, but some children can become much sicker than others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the following symptoms to look out for in your children during RSV season:

  • Inappetence
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Decreased activity
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Irritability / fussiness (especially in infants)
  • Mild or severe fever

Symptoms usually present in children after approximately 4-6 days following infection. Our children’s emergency care specialists are available24 hours a day, so you don’t have to wait to bring in your child. If you believe your child may have caught RSV, Advance ER can help. To schedule a service, contact a location near you.

How Is RSV Spread?

Children and adults who become infected with RSV are typically contagious for 3-8 days. During that time, anyone they come in contact with is at risk of being infected, as the virus can survive for several hours on certain surfaces. The CDC states that common forms of RSV transmission include:

  • Infection after a contagious person coughs or sneezes
  • Direct contact with the virus, such as kissing the face of a contagious child
  • Touching the same surface that a contagious person has touched, such as a doorknob, table, or crib, and then touching your face

Since this virus doesn’t necessitate direct contact in order to spread, it’s important that both you and your child practice certain RSV season safety measures, in order to decrease your child’s risk of catching and spreading the illness.

How Can RSV Be Prevented?

While RSV is a fairly contagious illness, there are fortunately preventative measures that you and your loved ones can take to keep your family safe. Some of these are easy ways to teach children how to keep themselves healthy, and others serve as useful reminders for adults:

  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow or tissue (never hands)
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water several times a day, for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid direct contact with others, including kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or sharing cups/utensils
  • Clean surfaces that are frequently touched by yourself and other loved ones, including doorknobs, mobile devices, countertops, and crib/bed railings
  • Disinfect toys and changing tables
  • Keep your child (and family) away from large crowds to avoid infection and transmission
  • If applicable, breastfeed infants to increase antibodies and improve immune system

Pediatric Care When You Need It

If your child develops RSV this season, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a common illness in young children, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still become serious if left untreated. If you begin to notice your child showing symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact Advance ER.

It is important to note that you should take your child to the emergency room immediately if they spike a high fever. This includes:

  • For infants younger than 90 days – 100.4 °F and above
  • For infants and toddlers 90 days-36 months – 102.2 °F and above
  • For toddlers and children 36 months and older – 102 °F and above for two or more days

Our emergency treatments for severe fevers are available 24/7. Whether or not your child has developed a fever, a trip to Advance ER wouldn’t be a bad idea if you are noticing any other RSV symptoms. Contact one of our locations below to schedule an appointment: