• Kirsten Smith

Seven Ways You Can Start Preparing For RSV




Many parents are worried about their kids getting the flu or the common cold this fall. You also want to be on the lookout for RSV. This respiratory virus is on the rise and is affecting children across the country.


RSV is a fairly common respiratory illness, but it can be dangerous for young children and infants. I’ll be talking about the most effective ways you can deal with RSV this fall. I’ll also be going over tips for hand-washing and other information you need to know about symptom management for this illness.


What is RSV and How Does it Affect Children?


RSV is one of the fastest-spreading illnesses in the country. While Covid and the flu are a concern, experts have never seen RSV cases surge this much. Still what exactly is RSV?


Also known as the respiratory syncytial virus, RSV is similar to the common cold and causes mild symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and a low-grade fever.

Kids and adults that get RSV recover quickly and usually have symptoms for one to two weeks. For younger children and infants, this respiratory illness can be more severe and lead to respiratory inflammation. That’s why it’s so important to look out for the signs and symptoms of RSV in younger children under the age of 5.


Signs and Symptoms of RSV


I recommend looking out for RSV symptoms. The earlier you treat this illness, the shorter it will last, and the sooner your kids can get healthy again. Some signs and symptoms to look for include:


Mild RSV Symptoms:

  • Runny Nose

  • Coughing

  • Sneezing

  • Low-Grade Fever

  • Headache

  • Loss of Appetite

Again, most people will be able to bounce back from this illness. If you have young children with RSV, they could be in danger. Infants and young kids with the virus are often hospitalized. There are around 58,000 hospitalizations from RSV in children under 5. 100 to 300 of those children hospitalized end up dying from RSV.


You want to be on the lookout for the symptoms I mentioned to keep your family safe! Also, be alert if your kids get more severe symptoms which I’ll list below:


Severe RSV Symptoms:

  • High Fever

  • Wheezing

  • Difficulty Breathing

  • Blue Tint to The Skin

  • Severe Cough

If you notice any of these signs, take your kids to a doctor or the hospital right away. You don’t want to wait around for their illness to get worse. If you need more information about who is at risk for RSV, look over this information page from the CDC.


How to Keep Your Family Healthy During RSV Season:


1. Take Preventative Measures


Families need to protect themselves from RSV. This means staying away from sick people. The less contact you have with someone who’s sick the less likely your family is to get RSV. Kids can’t always help coming into contact with other sick schoolmates, but try and keep them away from friends and other adults that are visibly ill.


You can also teach them not to touch their face, as doing this can cause germs to spread. Finally, if you do get RSV, try wearing a mask and covering your coughs and sneezes. This way your kids don’t catch RSV from you.


2. Take Vitamins


Multi-vitamins can help strengthen your kid's immune system to prevent illness. They are also great for parents who want to stay healthy. If your family does get sick, you can even take specific vitamins that are proven to help with RSV and other seasonal illnesses!


Try taking Vitamin C and Vitamin D. Doctors also recommend taking zinc and echinacea. You can purchase any one of these vitamins or supplements at your local store.


3. Use Natural Remedies


Each year, more and more people are turning to natural remedies. There is no better way to fight off RSV than with simple but natural treatments.


I have already talked about taking supplements like Vitamin C and D. You can also use some of these other natural remedies to fight off illnesses faster. These are some of my natural remedy recommendations that I use for my children:

You can check out this list for more foods that will help you fight off illnesses. I also found this great page that has more natural home remedies for RSV.



4. Teach Your Kids How to Wash Their Hands


Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent children from spreading any type of illness. Make sure you teach your kids how to do this properly, though. Kids should lather their hands with soap and rub them under water for at least twenty seconds.


I know it can be a real struggle trying to get kids to keep their hands clean. If you want to keep your family healthy this year, follow some of the tips I’ve outlined below!

Hand Washing Tips For Kids:

  • Have your kids sing Happy Birthday two times in their heads.

  • Remind your kids to wash their hands often so they don’t forget.

  • Be patient so they get in the habit of washing their hands.

  • Directly show them how to wash their hands.

  • Lead by example by washing your hands often.

5. Stay Hydrated

Kids should stay hydrated throughout the year. However, during RSV season, hydration is even more important. If you notice any signs or symptoms of RSV, then make sure you keep everyone well-hydrated. Water is the best way to keep kids healthy while they are sick.


You can also use Pedialyte, Gatorade (low sugar), and Body Armor (low sugar). Kids should get a good night's rest and drink plenty of fluids. These are the most effective ways to heal the body. I swear by these two things when my kids are sick. I also recommend trying saline spray if your kids have dry noses.


6. Keep Your Home Clean


Ever since COVID-19 I’ve been more mindful of sanitizing surfaces in my home. I want to keep outside germs away. I disinfect doorknobs, phones, and other heavily touched items in my home. Keeping the cold and flu out of your home this year will be tough, but if you sanitize often and keep your house clean this will help prevent illness.


7. Practice Healthy Living


Finally, you can keep your family RSV free by practicing healthy habits daily. Doctors recommend that you eat well, drink plenty of water, sleep well each night, and exercise. Practicing these habits helps strengthen the immune system and can keep you and your family healthy, even during cold and flu season.


It can be hard doing all these things while you are raising a family, but it's important to take care of yourself so you don’t get sick as often. Kids should also follow these healthy habits too.


Final Thoughts on RSV Season


Trying to stay healthy during the fall and winter seasons can be a real challenge, especially as our kids go back to school. As parents, we want everyone to stay happy and healthy year-round.


If your kids do get sick with RSV this year, though, make sure to follow the tips I went over. It’s never fun getting sick, but there are plenty of ways you can handle this respiratory virus.

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