Protecting Babies from RSV

Toddler Meets New Baby

Everyone loves babies. We all want to hold them, cuddle them and marvel at them.  While we have only the best intentions, it’s easy to forget that we need to take special care to protect these little ones from germs and illnesses. It’s common sense to wash your hands before touching a baby, but it’s amazing how fast common sense goes out the window when you’re staring at an angelic little face.  On our first trip to the zoo with my twins, we were approached by a woman who gushed over how cute they were, then impulsively grabbed my daughters hand and started kissing it.  I’m  was stunned and struggled to maintain my composure long enough to remove the babies from the situation and wash their hands just in case.

Before the birth of my first son, I had never heard of RSV.  Nearly every baby will be exposed to this virus by the age of 2.  Serious infections can cause hospitalization and even death, in fact, RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for infants.  While we were lucky not to have any RSV related medical issues with our kids, it was a common topic of conversation among a group of mothers I am close with.  Several infants in our group ended up requiring treatments ranging from inhalers to hospitalization. The risks of RSV are especially great for premature babies, as illustrated in this infographic.

RSV Infographic

Spreading awareness of RSV and general new baby etiquette can go a long way towards keeping new arrivals healthy.

A few tips to remember when a loved one has a new baby:

  • Call before you visit. New parents need time to set up a routine and bond. By giving them time to do so before you visit, you are respecting the new family.
  • Postpone a visit if you feel that you may be getting sick, have recently been ill or exposed to illness.
  • Remember that parents know best. If you feel they are being overprotective or overly cautious, just consider that only they know what’s best for the health of their new son or daughter.
  • Offer to do something to ease their responsibilities as they spend time as a family, such as laundry, cooking or dishes. Sleep-deprived moms and dads will appreciate your help!

If you do schedule a visit with a new baby:

  • Wash your hands frequently—upon entering the home and especially prior to holding the baby. Parents, and the new baby, will appreciate it.
  • Leave toddlers at home, especially during the winter months. Young children, especially if they attend day care or preschool, often carry germs and viruses, like RSV, that are easily spread.

A few facts about RSV that all parents, caregivers and loved ones should know:

  • Almost every baby will contract RSV by age 2, but only 1/3 of moms say they’ve heard of the virus.
  • Serious RSV infection 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.
  • There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take preventive steps to help protect their child (e.g., wash hands, toys, bedding frequently; avoid crowds and cigarette smoke).
  • Certain babies are at an increased risk of developing serious RSV infection, so it’s important to speak with a pediatrician to determine if a baby may be at high risk for RSV, and discuss preventive measures.
  • Symptoms of serious RSV infection include: persistent coughing or wheezing; rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths; blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails; high fever; extreme fatigue; and difficulty feeding. Parents should contact a medical professional immediately upon signs of these symptoms.

To learn more about RSV, visit www.rsvprotection.com.

Disclosure: 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.

Spring at the Bellagio Conservatory

Bellagio Conservatory Spring 2012 Floral Painting

The Conservatory at The Bellagio is a must visit for us whenever we go to Las Vegas.  You’ll find this giant atrium adjacent to the hotel lobby.  The stunning horticultural display changes five times a year, so you’ll always see something new. Best of all, it’s free!  Here is just a glimpse of the Spring Celebration exhibit which will run through May 13.

Bellagio Conservatory Spring 2012

Giant flower-covered bees and daffodils add a bit of whimsy to the display.

Bellagio Conservatory Spring 2012

Rowboats and waterfalls – what spring daydreams are made of.

Bellagio Conservatory Spring 2012

They must have known poppies are my favorite…

Bellagio Conservatory Spring 2012 Poppies

Have you ever visited the Conservatory at the Bellagio?  What are your must-see Las Vegas attractions?

I Finally Saw The Hunger Games…Kind Of

I’ve been dying to see The Hunger Games, but babysitting isn’t always easy to come by around these parts. Here’s hoping it stays in theaters for a really, really long time so that I don’t have to wait for the DVD. But really, who needs Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hensworth and Josh Hutcherson when you have Beanie Babies? Right?

Yes, this is how I spent 11+ minutes of naptime today. Don’t be jealous.

Our Unplanned Landscaping Project

 

I have lived in my house for twelve years and during that time I had a love/hate relationship with my 30-foot tall Chinese Elm Tree. Love, for the summertime shade it provided during 100 degree heat. Hate, for the millions of horrible little leaves it would drop every single fall and throughout winter. This past December, however, ended my roller-coaster relationship all together – it fell during a severe windstorm.

On a cold December morning I woke up early, went into the living room, and turned up the blinds like I always do. I could not believe my eyes. This gargantuan tree had fallen over during the night without me, my husband, or my son hearing it. The tree had fallen square on our lawn and missed my son’s room by a couple of feet. It really was a miracle that there was hardly any damage. I say hardly, because the damage that was done was mostly underground, and we hadn’t a clue anything was wrong at that point.

About a week later, when the main trunk was removed, we realized what damage had occurred. Our sprinkler system was history. This tree that had been decades old had wound thick roots all around the PVC pipes and ripped them to oblivion when it fell. In addition, all of our brick work had been destroyed and the shade we relied on so much in the summertime was gone, meaning we’d have to find some other way to help our home stay cool.

We are in the first phase of our unplanned landscaping project – installing a new sprinkler system. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been to OSH or Home Depot to buy PVC pipe fittings and sprinkler heads. Did you know that there are different ratings for PVC fittings? Schedule 40 PVC pipe fittings, schedule 80 PVC pipe fittings….it kinda gave me a headache to try and sort out what we needed. Thank God my husband did all of that. We’d have a new rock garden if it wasn’t for him.

With our pipes buried and sprinkler heads adjusted, we are finally about ready have sod planted. It will be so nice to have real grass to walk on instead of dirt – and fewer muddy footprints tracked through our living room. In the next stage, we’re looking at getting brick work done so we’ll have some sort of sitting area available to us again, but we’re not sure how that will fit into our budget. Maybe we can do it ourselves and save a few bucks. The one item we really want to get, even if it means not having brick work, is a metal pergola. Even though it is only Spring, our house can heat up rapidly. We will probably go with one we found online and call up a few friends to lend a hand installing it.

Even though our landscaping project was unplanned, it has given us the opportunity to remake our yard into something new – which is an exciting prospect!

Double The Pleasure, Double The Fun