What is RSV?
Respiratory syncytial virus, commonly known as RSV, is a virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. RSV can be severe for infants under 6 months of age. It’s the most common cause of pneumonia in children under the age of 1 year in the US (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2010). Almost everyone gets RSV by the age of 2.
Who is at risk?
Children who are at high risk for a severe case of RSV are premature infants (those born early at less than 36 weeks), those under 2 years of age with a congenital heart condition or chronic lung disease, and anyone with a weakened immune system. Infants who are exposed to tobacco smoke and those whose mother smoked during pregnancy are also at risk. How is RSV spread?
RSV is very contagious, spreading whenever someone infected with RSV coughs or sneezes and the infected droplets come in contact with your mouth, nose or eyes.
What are the symptoms of RSV?
The symptoms of RSV are similar to the common cold. Those with RSV may have a cough, runny nose, sneezing, fever and poor appetite. Infants may become irritable, have decreased activity and breathing difficulties (CDC, 2010). How can you treat RSV?
Because RSV is a virus and not a bacterial infection, antibiotics won’t work. Make certain that your child receives plenty of fluids. You can use a cool mist vaporizer to keep the air moist. Try to have your child blow their nose frequently to remove the mucus. For infants, you can use a bulb syringe. When should you call your doctor?
You should call your doctor immediately if your child develops any of the following symptoms (March of Dimes, 2010):
Difficulty breathing; Wheezing (makes a ‘whistling’ sound when breathing); Worsening cough; Thick yellow or green nasal drainage; Difficulty swallowing or sucking; Fever; or Looks blue around the mouth or fingertips.
How can you prevent your child from getting RSV?
There is no vaccine to prevent RSV. But you can help to prevent the spread of RSV. The RSV virus can live on surfaces for several hours (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID], 2008). Clean any surfaces that may be contaminated with the RSV virus with soap and water or disinfectant. There are many surfaces that we may not think about such as doorknobs, toys, phones, tables, pens and pencils:
But what else can you do to protect your child?
Keep your child away from people who have cold symptoms. Stay away from crowded areas, such as in shopping malls, grocery stores, etc. Always wash your hands with soap and water before touching your child.
If you can take action on even some of the above recommendations you are taking a positive step towards keeping your child healthy and free from RSV. Remember, to talk with your pediatrician about any concerns you may have and treatment options for RSV.
Written by Nancy Gill, RN, BSN, CPHQ, Director of Clinic Operations, Good Night Pediatrics. Reviewed by Dr Michael C McQueen, founder of Good Night Pediatrics which provides all-night urgent care for children every night of the year from 5PM to 5AM.
By Dr. Meena Vohra
If your child is in the hospital because they are sick or injured, you want them to get the right kind of care. Having a specially qualified team taking care of your little one can make a huge difference in their road to recovery.
At Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC, we understand that children are not simply little adults. Children are growing and developing and need extra monitoring, skill and compassion. That’s why Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC offers an unparalleled level of specialized services, not found anywhere else in Nevada.
One of our most well known services is our Pediatric Trauma Center; it’s Nevada’s only Level II Pediatric Trauma Center. We treat children hurt in car crashes, biking accidents, and take care of any other injury a parent hopes will never happen to their little one. Through the Lions Burn Care Center, we can treat all types of burns, as we are home to the only Burn Care Center in the state. We also have the only Organ Transplant Center in the state.
Then, there are some of our best kept secrets, such as Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC’s Pediatric Sedation Service. It’s the only one of its kind in the state, to have a designated unit. We provide safe sedation for children who have to undergo tests and procedures such as MRIs, CT scans, or biopsies. Children are able to have their testing done in a child-friendly environment, so their mind is occupied by toys and games, not focused on the testing and procedures. It makes for a more relaxing environment with more positive results.
The Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC is staffed 24 hours a day, by fellowship-trained, Board Certified Pediatric Emergency Medicine doctors, who handle life-threatening emergencies at anytime of the day or night.
Our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit provides critical care to children with a variety of problems ranging from trauma and infection, to drowning, stroke, and cancer. Our excellent outcomes are achievable through 24 hour in-house attending coverage, and evidence-based treatment.
Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC hosts other specialties too, such as Pediatric Anesthesiology, Radiology, Oncology, Pulmonology, and Endocrinology. Having such a comprehensive range of specialty services, Children’s Hospital of Nevada was recognized as the only hospital in Nevada to become an Associate member of NACHRI, (National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions) Achieving this distinction, has put Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC on the national stage as one of a select group of only 216 children’s hospitals in the country.
Having professionals uniquely trained to care for your son or daughter makes a world of difference in how fast they are diagnosed and treated for a successful recovery. Best of all, the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC treat parents as their partners, because you are the true expert at caring for your child.
Dr. Meena Vohra is a mother of two and Medical Director of Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC. More information can be found at childrenshospitalofnevada.org.
By Cassie Rice
Setting New Year’s resolutions for yourself is a great idea. But make sure you include resolutions on parenting your child, because you are the biggest influence on your child and their future. Your child will emulate your behavior, so watch out for the following traits in yourself:
Honesty: Make sure you are as honest as you want your child to be. Don’t lie to your children or in front of them. Don’t excuse acts of dishonesty or deception by stating that this is an exception. Don’t be a hypocrite. Avoid putting down negative behaviors that you yourself do, such as speeding, drinking or smoking. Demonstrate your moral convictions by paying whatever price is necessary to do what is right, such as inconvenience, loss of money, approval and even employment.
Respect: Listen and respect your children’s views. Demonstrate self-restraint and maintain your own self-discipline with respect to violence, yelling or other displays of temper. Use only the language you want your children to use. Avoid petty behavior and power plays especially where your children are concerned. Mutual respect is an essential quality in any parent/child relationship. This respect must be nurtured continuously to build and maintain a happy, healthy relationship.
Responsibility: Admit when you are wrong and take whatever consequences are coming to you when you are wrong, and expect the same from your children. Don’t shift blame and excuse your own shortcomings or mistakes and expect the same from your children. Assign reasonable age-appropriate responsibilities to your kids and assign consequences if they fail to perform their duties. Make sure that your children keep their commitments at home, at school and in extracurricular activities. This means if you say you will do something you follow through, just as you expect your child to do.
Fairness: General rules of fairness are necessary to keep peace in any household. Make sure you don’t resort to arbitrary power to get your way. Treat your children equally and fairly and be open to reasonable discussion and criticism.
Caring: Children are stakeholders in everything you do, so demonstrate compassion and respect for others, especially for your children. Never discount, belittle or trivialize your children’s feelings or fears. Be visibly charitable and involve your children in charities to support. Getting your kids to give back to their community or to those less fortunate than themselves is something that will enrich their lives for years, start early and stay consistent.
The way you live your life will be remembered and copied by your children, so strive to be proud of your actions each and every day. If you do make a mistake use it as an opportunity to take responsibility, forgive yourself, acknowledge it as a mistake and use it as a teachable moment. Kids and adults alike should persevere through setbacks and strengthen the above principles to improve the relationships with those we love!
Cassie Rice is the owner of Gymcats in Henderson and a regular contributor to Parent Guide of Las Vegas. She was an All-American gymnast at the University of Oklahoma and has been to the Summer Olympics twice as a coach.
To help Nevada families better prepare for the rising costs of a college education, the Nevada State Legislature established the Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program in 1997. The Program offers parents an alternative to exhausting family savings or depending solely on student loans when sending a student to college. Along with the other Nevada 529 College Savings Plans administered through the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office, this Program is designed to help parents, other family members, and friends maximize the opportunity of saving for college.
The Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program provides many benefits, the foremost being the ability to avoid the continually escalating costs of higher education by locking in today’s rates and avoiding future tuition increases. Several affordable plan options, including flexible payment plans starting as little as $36 per month, are available. Contract holders can select from five different tuition plans and can pay for their contract in a lump sum payment, over a five year period, or monthly until graduation. Earnings are tax-deferred until the contract beneficiary attends college, and are then tax-exempt as long as the funds are used for tuition costs. A Nevada Prepaid Tuition contract is not limited to Nevada schools; it can be used at any accredited public or private university, college, or vocational school in the United States. To add to its flexibility, contract holders can transfer the contract to another qualified beneficiary (up to a first cousin), keep the contract for up to six years, or cancel the contract and request a refund if the beneficiary decides not to go to college after graduation. A popular component of the Program is a gift coupon option that can be used by other family members and friends to give a gift toward a child’s Prepaid Tuition contract. The coupon, available on our website, can be used for birthdays, religious celebrations, graduations, or any other special occasion.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to enroll their children in this valuable program now through February 28th, when the Open Enrollment Period concludes. Enrollments for newborns are accepted through June 30th. The earlier you begin your child’s savings account the lower the price, so visit NevadaTreasurer.gov or call 1-888-477-2667 today. You can also sign-up for payroll deduction through your employer and receive 50% off the enrollment fee!