Wash your hands, wash your hands: Avoid Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is currently a common cause of difficulty breathing among infants and children. The symptoms of RSV are low-grade fever (38 degrees Centigrade/102 degrees Fahrenheit), runny nose, sore throat, wheezing and coughing, irritability and restlessness, rapid breathing and trouble breathing, blue colour of the lips or around the mouth, and dehydration.
Outbreaks of disease caused by RSV occur on a yearly basis, most commonly during the winter months. RSV is easily transmitted through the air, or by touching contaminated surfaces.
To help prevent your child from getting sick, parents can:
  • Wash their child’s hands with soap and water frequently
  • Wash their hands with soap and water frequently
  • Throw used tissues in the garbage
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • If an older child comes down with a cold, keep him away from an infant brother or sister until the symptoms pass
  • Discourage your child from sharing cups, utensils, pillows, etc.
What can parents do to make a child with a mild case of RSV feel better?
  • Give lots of clear fluids such as diluted juice, water, and popsicles to prevent dehydration
  • Use a humidifier to put extra moisture in the air which will soothe irritated breathing passages and relieve coughing
  • Use saline (salt water) nose drops to loosen mucous in the nose
  • Treat fever using a non-aspirin fever medicine like acetaminophen (for example, Children’s Tylenol or Tempra).