In our post we're taking a bit of a lighthearted approach to RSV. We know that cases are on the rise and that it can be scary to be a parent to a sick kid no matter the illness. Solidarity. We're here for you if you need any support.
**Please consult your physician for formal guidance.
Is it RSV or a cold?
RSV will present much the same way as a cold but take hold longer and have more serious symptoms. RSV can also lead to trouble breathing and bronchiolitis. If your kid has a barking cough and is wheezy, chances are they’ve contracted RSV.
Oh crap. How do I know for sure?
You can ask the doc for a test to clarify but they might give you pushback because it doesn’t really alter treatment. We super appreciate confirmed cases to prevent spread here at Le Village, but it’s not a requirement.
Is this normal?
Yes. Virtually 100% of kids will get RSV before age 2. I am not making that up. That’s the stat. The younger they are the scarier it can be. Older kids can and will get sick, as can adults, but it presents much more as a cold without all of the complications.
Hmmmk. How long am I gonna have to deal with this?
Timeline usually* goes as follows:
Day 3-5: Mild symptom onset. Contagious period begins. Runny nose and sneezing will begin. You’ll think, “Huh, you got a cold bubba or are you getting a tooth?”
Day 5-8: Symptoms worsen. Fevers tend to kick in, coughing develops and deepens, boogers run amok. No one is sleeping. You’ll think “Omg, are you okay? Where’s the dang Tylenol! What can I do?! How can I help?!”
Day 8-10: Symptoms begin to subside. Boogers remain. Cough remains. You’ll think “I am so tired. How much Cocomelon is too much Cocomelon? Ugh. Am I sick?! Can I drink wine if I’m sick?”
Day 10-14: Boogers Dry up. Cough may remain but is nearly gone. Contagious period is over for most* cases. You’ll think “I am so behind at work. Ughhhhhh.”
So when can I bring them back to Le Village?
Once your boogers are under control and you are fever-free for at least 24 hours, you can return. Ideally you are on day 8-10 from your exposure point or day 5-7 from symptom onset. They may still have a cough, but it no longer sounds horrifying and is no longer as frequent.
What constitutes boogers that are not under control? For example, a teacher has to wipe your kid’s nose every 10 minutes. (If the teacher doesn’t, your kid is covered in boogers that they are then licking and/or wiping with their hands and then wiping on toys and then they are handing that toy to their best bud who then…) Remember our teachers are caring for multiple little ones and we want to keep folks healthy.
Aren’t we all going to get it anyway? Possibly yes, but last round, not everyone did. It may have felt like it, but only about half of us got this. And our youngest babies—the ones most at risk—did not. I’d also like to keep our staff healthy!
Grrreat. Okay, so what are some treatment options?
Unfortunately there’s no treatment for RSV since it’s a virus. But you can make them more comfortable. Here are some tips and tricks for RSV or just run of the mill colds:
Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
Will not only ease a fever, but they also help with sore throats and reduce swelling and inflammation in the bronchial tubes caused by coughing.
If you are worried about too much of either, you can alter them during a 24h period. Acetaminophen at 8a, ibuprofen at 12p, acetaminophen at 4p, ibuprofen at 8p etc. If they don’t have a fever, decrease the frequency of dosage.
We like Zarabees as a brand for kids 3 and under. It’s natural but seems to help. I’ll poll some folks and see what others are into.
Keep up on their vitamins to give their system a fighting chance! We like Smartypants but any kind will do!
Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
I swear by this. It’s a bit homeopathic but it totally works for us! ACV may* act as an expectorant, breaking up and loosening mucus in your nose, throat, and mouth, thereby relieving congestion and reducing coughing. It’s natural so I always felt great giving it to Vivie and take it religiously myself.
Lollipop style cough drops. Halls or Lolleeze are both good brands.
Prop them up when they sleep! If they have pillows, great! If they are too young, you can roll a towel up and put it between the mattress and the frame to prop one end up when they are stuffy.
Steam showers! Your water bill will be obscene but your kiddo will thank you for it. Turn the shower on hot. Let it run. Just sit in the bathroom with it. I usually bring some toys or a tablet to keep them entertained. If you have essential oils, drop some eucalyptus in there. Free facial for mama.
Baths! The skin is the largest organ of the body and it is as pivotal to hydration as anything else. Also it’s fun!
Hydration! Make sure they stay hydrated. If you are still doing breast milk or formula and they are drinking it, no need to do anything else. For the rest of us—here is a safe water table amount below.
Babies under 6m - consult your physician, but 1-2oz of pedialyte is often approved if a child is dehydrated and will take it.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests offering up to 8 oz of water per day starting at 6 months old until they are 1 year.
1y-3y olds should get up to 32 oz.
But they won’t drink! I like to add the little apple juice into Vivie’s water when she’s sick to coax her to drink more. 1/4 juice and the rest water. Pedialyte has some yummy flavors if your kid is under 1. Popsicles are an amazing alternative as well! (Our moms weren’t wrong. Popsicles in the tub was/is amazing)
Snot Removal! Whatever your jam is, get that outa there. You can help them learn to “blow” by playing the elephant game. “Let’s pretend we’re elephants! Your nose is the trunk! Keep your mouth closed! Now blooow your trunk!” It will be epically disgusting the first time they figure it out. Boogers will be more loose after a bath or shower.
Hopefully this is helpful. I know some of us have rounded the bend—but as with all of you, I’m really behind in work! If you are an Emily Oster fan here is a quick article by her (and a note on why RSV has been so bad this year).
Stay healthy out there and we hope to see you all back soon!