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Help prevent severe RSV disease

Tips and information to help you protect your baby from severe RSV disease

You want to make sure you do everything you can to help protect your infant from severe RSV disease. Severe RSV disease is spread just as easily as the flu. Sneezing, coughing, and touching are all examples of ways RSV can put your infant at risk for severe RSV disease. Taking a few extra precautions around your family and friends can help protect your baby.

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Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your baby, and ask others to do the same

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Don't let anyone smoke in your home, or near your baby

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Wash your baby's toys, clothes, and bedding often

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Keep your baby away from:

— Crowds and young children
— People with colds

Help for when you talk to your baby's doctor

In the first years of life, your child faces many challenges, including the risk of severe RSV disease, but there are ways you can help. Talking to your pediatrician is one way to find out if your child is at risk for severe RSV disease. The questions featured below can help you get the conversation started. You can also add your own questions to the list. Please note that your additional questions will appear in purple both here and on the printed version.

Questions to take with you to your doctor's office

  • Is my baby at high risk of developing severe RSV disease?
  • What can I do to help prevent severe RSV disease if my baby is at high risk?
  • What are the symptoms of severe RSV disease?
  • What can I do to help prevent the spread of RSV?

Add your own questions to the list

Add to List

Real Stories: Real stories from real moms

Belinda's story

Belinda's story

Gestational age at birth: 27 weeks

My baby, Alberto, was born at 27 weeks on August 22, 2009. He weighed 3 pounds and measured 16 inches.

He was in the NICU for 2 months, and the staff took care of him like he was their own. He was high risk, and he could have easily gotten sick from severe RSV disease. I was advised not to take him to public places for 4 months and to be cautious that no one sick visits the baby. That is exactly what I did.

Please note: While this is a real story, your RSV-related experience may not have the same result.

Jesse's story

Jesse's story

Gestational age at birth: 30 weeks

My twin girls were born at 30 weeks, 5 days, and weighed about 3.5 pounds each. They spent 43 days in the NICU just growing and working to stabilize their apnea and bradycardia issues. They were both released on the same joyful day!

It was flu and RSV season, and we still didn't want to take any chances. We kept our twins at home with us until May. We did not have anyone come over to visit (only my parents and my favorite sister). The rest of the family had to wait. My husband would go to church Sunday mornings, and I would go Sunday evenings. We wouldn't shake hands — and we kept ourselves well also. We are thankful for the help the doctors gave to our girls.

Please note: While this is a real story, your RSV-related experience may not have the same result.

Lisa's story

Lisa's story

Gestational age at birth: 33 weeks

After exactly 33 weeks of pregnancy, I gave birth to my twins. I had a boy and a girl weighing 4.7 and 4.9 pounds, respectively. They spent 17 days in the NICU.

The doctors and the NICU staff were wonderful. They did everything that they could to help protect our babies.

When we brought the twins home, it was our turn to do our part in protecting them by limiting visitors, washing hands, and following their doctor's advice.

I am happy to say that they are now 8 months and 25 days old and have not contracted RSV. My husband and I feel very fortunate to have such healthy babies. My brother and his wife had a baby who contracted RSV. They had to spend a week in the hospital caring for the baby before they were allowed to take the baby home.

Please note: While this is a real story, your RSV-related experience may not have the same result.

Nicole's story

Nicole's story

Gestational age at birth: 34 weeks

I was rushed to the ER with bleeding and contractions. It was determined I was having a placental abruption. An emergency Cesarean delivery was performed within 30 minutes of my arrival, and Addy came out kicking and screaming. She was 34 weeks of age and taken to the NICU for evaluation.

She was put on a ventilator and later moved down to a nasal cannula. She stayed in the NICU for 2 weeks due to respiratory distress and cardiac issues. She was discharged, and we brought her home on Valentine's Day. RSV season ended 3 days before. She is the best Valentine I've ever received.

I still make sure everyone washes and sanitizes their hands before touching Addy or her things.

Please note: While this is a real story, your RSV-related experience may not have the same result.

Important Safety Information

What is Synagis ® (palivizumab)?

Synagis is a prescription medication that is used to help prevent a serious lung disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in children at high risk for severe lung disease from RSV.

Who should not receive Synagis?

Children should not receive Synagis if they have ever had a severe allergic reaction to it. Signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction could include itchy rash; swelling of the face; difficulty swallowing; difficulty breathing; bluish color of the skin; muscle weakness or floppiness; a drop in blood pressure; and/or unresponsiveness. If your child has any of these signs or symptoms of a severe allergic reaction after getting Synagis, be sure to tell your child’s healthcare provider or get medical help right away.

How is Synagis given?

Synagis is given as a shot, usually in the thigh muscle, each month during the RSV season. Your child should receive their first Synagis shot before the RSV season starts, to help protect them before RSV becomes active. When RSV is most active, your child will need to receive Synagis shots every 28-30 days to help protect them from severe RSV disease for about a month. Your child should continue to receive monthly shots of Synagis until the end of RSV season. Your child may still get severe RSV disease after receiving Synagis. If your child has an RSV infection, they should continue to get their monthly shots throughout the RSV season to help prevent severe disease from new RSV infections.

The effectiveness of Synagis shots given less than monthly throughout the RSV season has not been established.

What are the side effects of Synagis?

Possible, serious side effects include severe allergic reaction, which may occur after any dose of Synagis. Such reactions may be life-threatening or cause death. Unusual bruising and/or groups of tiny red spots on the skin have also been reported.

Common side effects of Synagis include fever and rash. Other possible side effects include skin reactions around the area where the shot was given (like redness, swelling, warmth, or discomfort).

Please see full Prescribing Information for Synagis, including Patient Information.