What To Do if You Suspect Your Child Has RSV

What To Do if You Suspect Your Child Has RSV

What To Do if You Suspect Your Child Has RSV 1920 1080 Kanika

The “triple demic” that health officials have warned us about has come to pass. Hospitals are full of patients with COVID-19, the flu, and something called respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. All are respiratory illnesses, and all can be severe or even fatal. With unmasked kids back in school, the odds of children coming down with some kind of illness over the winter months have increased.

While RSV can affect adults, it more often impacts children. Learn the symptoms and what to do if you suspect your child has RSV.

Symptoms of RSV

Respiratory illnesses share many similar symptoms, which is why it’s sometimes difficult to tell whether your child has RSV, a simple cold, or the flu. Look for the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Poor appetite

According to the CDC, almost all children under 2 have had RSV, and it usually passes on its own.

You can transmit RSV through body fluids. Droplets from an infected person’s nose or throat can persist on surfaces for several hours. It’s important to teach toddlers about germs and how they spread to help them avoid developing an infection.

Home Treatment for RSV

There’s no specific medication designed to treat RSV. However, parents can attempt to manage symptoms at home.

Use over-the-counter medications to alleviate fever and aches. So many parents have done this lately that there has been a children’s Tylenol (acetaminophen) and children’s Advil (ibuprofen) shortage in some areas. Manufacturers say it’s a problem of demand, not supply, so keep looking if your child needs relief.

You can use a cool mist humidifier to relieve congestion, but ensure you change the water daily. You can also use a gentle bulb suction tool made for infants, with a drop of sterile nasal saline to loosen and remove stuffiness. Ask your pediatrician’s office about how to ease your child’s congestion.

Follow your pediatrician’s advice about what medications are appropriate for your child. And remember, never give a child aspirin because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a potentially fatal condition affecting the brain and liver.

Keeping your child hydrated is also essential to their recovery. If an infant is producing fewer wet diapers, they may not be taking in sufficient fluids.

When To Bring Your Child to the ED

Severe symptoms may call for a trip to the emergency department. Watch for:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lips or skin turning blue or gray
  • Skin around the ribs or under the neck pulls in as your child inhales
  • Difficulty sleeping or eating

Children under six months are more at risk. If your child’s symptoms persist or their fever doesn’t go down after several days, call your pediatrician or take your child to the hospital for testing and treatment.