What’s Going Around in Colorado?
As the weather changes, it’s important to be aware of the risks of seasonal illnesses in children. Here are some tips to help keep your child healthy:
- Get a flu shot: The flu is a serious respiratory illness that can be deadly, especially for young children. Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect your child from the flu.
- Wash hands frequently: Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illness. Be sure to wash your hands often, and especially before handling food or eating.
- Cover coughs and sneezes: If your child has a cold or the flu, it’s important to teach them to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze. This will help prevent the spread of the illness.
- Stay home when sick: If your child is sick, it’s important to keep them home from school or daycare so they can rest and recover. This will also help prevent the spread of illness to other children.
Bronchiolitis (and RSV)
We are currently seeing cases of bronchiolitis, a viral illness (sometimes caused by RSV -- "respiratory syncytial virus") that occurs most often in children under age 2. This virus typically occurs in epidemics during the winter and the early spring. "Bronchioles" are the smallest airways in our lungs, and "itis" means these airways are inflamed, or irritated, by the virus. When these airways get inflamed in young children, they often will start to "wheeze," meaning air and the oxygen in it have difficulty getting through these narrowed, swollen airways.
With a case of bronchiolitis, your infant's symptoms may begin with a runny nose, a fever, and a harsh, tight cough. If it progresses to wheezing, your child may start to breathe rapidly and "pull" with his/her abdomen and rib muscles with each breath. Please call us for an appointment if your child's breathing becomes labored or difficult.
If your infant was born premature (under 32 weeks) or has cardiac or lung conditions, your child is at a greater risk of complications from RSV bronchiolitis. A product containing a specific antibody to RSV has been approved for monthly administration to help prevent RSV infection in these high-risk children. This form of antibody against RSV has the advantage of being able to be administered once a month by intramuscular injection. In large, controlled studies, this product has been shown to decrease hospitalization from RSV infections in these high-risk infants.
See also: Wheezing (Other Than Asthma)
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