Search Results for ‘RSV’

Causes of the Common Cold in Babies

You’re expecting a baby soon or just had one. You’re babysitting an infant or toddler for the first time. You’ve just set up your toddlers first playdate. These three scenarios have one thing in common beyond the obvious. With over 100 viruses that cause the common cold lurking about, the very real possibility of catching the common cold awaits babies no matter what the scenario. Knowing the causes of the common cold in babies is, as they say, half the battle. Following are some instances to help enumerate the most common causes for the common cold in babies.

Common Cold Viruses Adrift in the Air

You just had a baby not long ago and someone visiting you and the baby is, unbeknownst to him or you, infected with a common cold virus in its most contagious part of the cycle, the shedding stage, and suddenly without warning sneezes into the air. Roughly, 40,000 droplets of what just came out if his nose is now set adrift in the immediate surrounding air. No actions are taken by anyone to avoid the contaminated snotlet droplets now floating around the baby, because it was just a little sneeze and doesn’t mean much. Two days later your baby has a 101.5º temperature and can’t breathe but out of his mouth.

Common Cold Viruses Stick To Your Hand Like Glue

You just landed your third babysitting gig for your mom’s friends who have a two year old toddler. You only get to watch her for two hours, but that’s twenty dollars you didn’t have before, right! Come 6 pm you arrive at the Smiths’ house and just before you ring the doorbell you cover your mouth with your hand like you’ve been taught when you cough. A quick passing though crosses your mind, ” I wonder if I’m getting sick, since I started coughing at school today and just now, again.” Just then the door opens and the Smiths are so happy you’re there and you follow them inside to the adorable waiting baby whose outstretched hands have been waiting for yours. It wouldn’t matter if it had been a couple of hours after you coughed into your hand, because you couldn’t get to the crook of your arm or into your shoulder fast enough, or just before you started holding hands with the baby. Common cold viruses stick to your hands like glue.

Common Cold Viruses Contaminate Innocent Playthings

You’ve been awaiting your little toddlers playdate with greater anticipation than your toddler. Finally, you and toddler in tow make your way to where the other three parents and toddlers are meeting. All sorts of toys have been collected together for the occasion, and all of the parents have been very conscientious about disinfecting whatever they brought to the toy pool now in the center of the room. All of the toddlers have been enjoying themselves playing with the toys, but you notice your toddler has since gravitated toward one of his favorite things to play with-the remote control-and has it in a death-grip because he knows at some point you’re going to suddenly pop up and take it away. You wrestle your friends remote control away from your toddler, and innocently enough neither you or your friend realize that someone contaminated it with a common cold virus only a couple of hours earlier. Every toy in the place is clean, but not that one innocent plaything toddler just has to have in his mouth whenever he gets a chance.

Whether by air, human touch or contaminated surfaces, the causes or situations where a common cold virus can make its way into your baby’s or toddler’s system are quite numerous. While most everyone is aware of how a baby can catch a cold, how many of us are as avidly conscientious about protecting the baby or toddler from catching the common cold as we should be.

For treatment of your baby’s cold here is help and for fighting off RSV infection see Child n’Parent.

By:  T. H. Pankey

For the best ebook to guide you through pregnancy see “My Bloomin Belly.”

Add comment February 9th, 2009

Flu Shot or Not?

Flu season is on its way.  Though getting a flu shot may seem like a no brainer to some, at $20 a shot for my family of six, I want to know if it’s really necessary.

New Jersey recently passed a law requiring flu shots for all pre-school and elementary school kids. Some parents are happy because it will mean their kids are less likely to pick up the flu at school. Others are furious that the government is regulating medical procedures for their children they see as risky and unnecessary.

According to the CDC the number of Americans getting the flu in a particular year could be as low as 5 percent or as high as 20 percent of the population. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die. Those most likely to die of influenza and related complications are the elderly and other immune compromised people.

Members of “priority groups” will get flu shots first if, as in recent years, there are shortages. This high-risk group includes:

•    Children aged 6 to 23 months
•    Children over 2 years old with chronic health conditions
•    Children who are taking long term aspirin therapy
•    Household members of children less than 6 months of age, since these babies are too young to get a flu shot themselves
•    Women who will be pregnant during the flu season
•    Residents of long-term care facilities
•    Adults with any condition that weakens the immune system
•    Any person in close contact with someone in a high-risk group, such as healthcare workers.

People who should not get a flu shot include:

•    Anyone who’s severely allergic to eggs (ingredients for flu shots are grown inside eggs)
•    Infants under 6 months old
•    Anyone who’s ever had a severe reaction to a flu vaccination (although most people do not      experience  any side effects from the flu shot)
•    Anyone with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare condition that affects the immune system and nerves
•    Anyone with a fever

Flu shots are made of dead influenza virus cells and cannot give your child the flu. A nasal mist vaccination is available for children over 2. This is a live vaccine and your child could develop flu symptoms.

Some parents worry about the preservative Thimrosal contained in some vaccines can cause autism. Studies have shown no measurable connection. Thimrosal-free shots are available.

Flu shots are available at a variety of locations including some stores and pharmacies and your county health department. Most HMOs will only cover flu shots if they are given at your pediatrician’s office. You will then only be asked to pay your required co-pay.  The flu shot cannot keep your children from getting other kinds of viral infections and may not even prevent some influenza strains.

The best  way to ensure your child stays healthy this winter is to wash hands often, avoid crowds, and never share cups or eating utensils.

Find more great child health articles and Child n’Parent

By:  Megan Wallgren

Add comment October 25th, 2008

Treating Your Child’s Croup or RSV Infection

Waking from a sound sleep, I hear the hoarse, crying voice of my four year old son.  He coughs several times, sounding just like the neighbor’s barking dog.   It’s nighttime and it’s the croup, or RSV.  I call our pediatrician and make a plan to help keep him comfortable through the night.

RSV, or croup, is often worse during the night and parents need a strategy to help their child breath more freely.  Here are some basic recommendations taken from medical references to help treat your child’s symptoms of croup or RSV.

Steam is a natural homeopathic remedy that can open nasal and bronchial passages for freer breathing.   For small babies, be sure to consult a medical professional before using this method of treatment.  Loosen your child’s clothing and take the child into the bathroom.   Run the shower on hot to create a steam air environment.   Place the child on your lap and encourage them to breath in the surrounding steam.  Be sure to keep the child safely away from the hot water.  Run the shower for about ten minutes, dry the child from any dampness, then  carry the child into the cooler air.    Often this hot/cool air treatment will cause a child’s croupy throat to clear; restoring a more normal breathing pattern.

A cool air humidifier is also a good weapon against the croup or RSV.  Position the humidifier near the child’s bed so that the cool mist will circulate within the child’s breathing range.  Use purified water and change it at least once a day to prevent bacterial growth.  Check the humidifier at least once during the night to be sure that it is properly working.

A mild, over the counter decongestant and expectorant is also helpful.  Avoid medications with antihistamine as this drug can make a croupy condition worse.  Be sure to follow proper dosing instructions for your child’s age and weight. A decongestant will loosen congestion in the upper respiratory tract, while an expectorant will help prevent severe chest congestion.

These home treatments are recommended by a medical professional in treating the initial stages of croup, or RSV.  As the severity of illness is different for each child, parents should consult a medical professional to determine which treatment option is best.  Should a child’s breathing pattern become highly irregular, parents should seek professional medical assistance immediately.

Having a child sick with the croup is a scary experience. Parents should be observant during the initial stages of croup and take measures to prevent it from becoming a more serious infection.

Learn to recognize, prevent and treat your child’s croup, or RSV infection at

By:  Debby Hoffer

Add comment February 28th, 2008


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