“RSV season. Adults- you are contagious up to 24 hours before you start showing symptoms! Please keep your mouths/breaths away from a baby’s face, hands, and feet. Don’t be the reason a baby is hospitalized (or dead) because the baby was ‘just so cute I had to kiss her!’
An out of town family member came to stay with us when our son was about 4 weeks old, to meet the baby. We were very strict about hand washing or sanitizing before handling the baby. The family member developed a runny nose and cough, but was convinced it was just pet allergies since we have a dog. It wasn’t until a few days later, after they returned home, that they realized it was more than allergies. By that point, it was too late for Harvey. He came down with RSV a few days later.
Thankfully, My baby was one of the lucky ones. He spent 5 days in the hospital, but he ended up making a full recovery. Still, we won’t know until he’s older if he’ll suffer long-term consequences from contracting RSV as an infant- including asthma or chronic respiratory problems. As of now, he is happy and healthy and quickly approaching his first birthday. We are so grateful his RSV story had a happy ending, but we grieve for the hundreds of other babies who can’t say the same.
It’s super awkward as a parent to have to tell someone (especially a family member or friend) to step away from your baby. It’s also super difficult to stop someone from kissing your child after they’re already going in for the kiss.
Don’t be selfish. Don’t kiss babies. It’s not worth it.
Also, if you’re sick, please stay home. What might be a ‘sinus infection’ or ‘allergies’ to you, could translate to a life-threatening illness for a baby.
This is a flashback to our son in the hospital at 5 weeks old with RSV.”
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