Being a mom to 5 babies that were born prematurely has taught me a lot about germs. Like any new mom, I want to get my babies out and share them with my family, friends, and the whole world, but right now, that's not the safe thing to do. Now that we've entered into the dreaded flu & RSV season, it's more important than ever that we take every precaution to keep our babies healthy and safe. As we've already experienced, when one baby gets sick, they all tend to get sick, which makes life 100 times more difficult than it already is, so we're trying to do everything we can to avoid germs.
We have a sign on our doors stating that if you're sick in any way to please not come in our house. We love visitors and we hate that we're so cutoff to the world, our friends, and family right now, but this is the only way we know to keep our babies safe from illnesses. Here are some tips to help limit the spread of RSV (and most other illnesses as well).
*Cover coughs and sneezes
*Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with the baby
*Wash hands well and often
*Avoid kissing baby (strangers should not kiss, hug, or touch babies without parent's approval)
*Keep baby's surroundings and belongings clean.
*During RSV season, keep baby away from crowds and especially people with cold-like symptoms
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a virus and is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and/or pneumonia in babies who are younger than 1 year of age. Premature birth and certain types of heart and lung disease put some babies at high risk for developing RSV (babies born early - at 35 weeks or earlier- are born before their lungs and immune system have had a chance to fully develop). It's important for high-risk babies to be kept away from anyone who exhibits any of these symptoms: coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and fever. Some signs and symptoms that your baby may have severe RSV disease are: coughing or wheezing that does not stop, difficulty breathing, & bluish color around the mouth or fingernails.
While I was at the doctor's office this week with Tessa, I read a sign that said, you are considered sick if you exhibit the follow symptoms: rash, sneezing, congestion, runny nose, coughing, mattered eyes, diarrhea, sore throat, fever, or vomiting. So I've decided to adopt the same rules for my house. Visitors are considered sick if they have any of those symptoms and we urge you to not come visit until you no longer have those symptoms.
There is something magical about little babies, they have a way of drawing people's attention (mine included), but now that I'm a mom to 5 little babies who are at high-risk of developing RSV, I try to stay back and just look. It's hard for me not to touch or even to hold a baby of a friend or relative, but I know how protective I am of my own and I would never want to spread my germs and make any baby sick. So I'm trying to abide by my own rules when I'm around other people's babies now and just look and not touch.
So, here's to good health!