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Mom Warns Others Not to Kiss Babies After Son Is Hospitalized With RSV

Mom Warns Others Not to Kiss Babies After Son Is Hospitalized With RSV

Any politician will tell you that kissing babies is one of America’s favorite past times. It’s nearly impossible to resist those little cherub-cheeked cuties. But after her 8-month-old son was hospitalized with a respiratory virus, one New Jersey mom is issuing a very important warning to other families ahead of flu season.

Earlier this week, Ariana DiGrigorio took to Facebook to share a photo of her son Antonio hooked up to machines in a hospital crib after he was diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Seeing your infant fighting for their health would be a hard sight for any parent, which is why DiGrigorio decided to share her story.

“RSV season,” she starts the caption. “Adults, you are contagious up to 24 hours before you start showing symptoms! Please keep your mouths/breaths away from a baby's face, hands, and feet. Don't be the reason a baby is hospitalized (or dead) because the baby was ‘just so cute I had to kiss her!’”

DiGrigorio goes on the explain that she wanted to share her warning with others so parents aren’t put on the spot and forced to turn away a well-meaning adult. “It's super awkward as a parent to have to tell someone (especially a family member or friend) to step away from your baby,” she explains. “It's also super difficult to stop someone from kissing your child after they're already going in for the kiss.”

She’s right. More often than not, parents probably end up holding their breath and hoping their child remains healthy rather than risk embarrassing the other person. In an ideal scenario, every single person would ask before doing something as intimate as kissing your baby. But as any pregnant woman who’s had her stomach touched by a complete stranger knows, people’s personal boundaries seem to go out the window when it comes to children.

“Don't be selfish,” DiGrigorio pleads in her post. “Don't kiss babies. It's not worth it. Also, if you're sick, please stay home. What might be a ‘sinus infection’ or ‘allergies’ to you, could translate to a life-threatening illness for a baby.”

For context, RSV is a fairly common respiratory virus that shares the same symptoms as a really bad cold. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that virtually all children contract RSV by age 2. But if left untreated, RVS can develop into something much more serious in infants, leading to bronchiolitis or pneumonia.

When adults contract RSV, we can typically clear the virus on our own - but an estimated 57,000 children under 5 are hospitalized each year because of RSV. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor if you’re child is experiencing any symptoms such as a shallow cough, breathing faster than normal or having difficulty breathing, or trouble eating.

If you do end up at the hospital, don’t fret. Doctors can treat your infant’s RVS with humidified oxygen or intravenous fluids. But hopefully this can all be avoided by heeding DiGrigorio’s warning and refraining from kissing babies (and making sure to wash your hands!).
PHOTO: Oliver Rossi / Getty Images
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Mom Warns Others Not to Kiss Babies After Son Is Hospitalized With RSV Reviewed by Honest Maternity Blog on 18:53 Rating: 5

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