When Should You Take Your Baby with RSV to the ER?


Your kid is vulnerable to various infections and health conditions at a tender age. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a prevalent respiratory illness in children below two years. The illness leads to breathing difficulties, and young babies are at a high risk of infection.

RSV symptoms are associated with bronchiolitis and pneumonia, and the viral infection may recur. The illness may easily occur if your child has underlying health issues linked to the heart, immune system, and lungs. Prematurely born babies are at a high risk of developing RSV. Respiratory illness is spread via mucosal membranes, so it’s crucial to take your child to the emergency room before further deterioration in their health.

What Are the Symptoms of RSV?

During the initial stages of the viral infection, your child may experience congestion and a runny nose. As the illness advances, your baby may encounter vomiting. The respiratory system is affected, and the illness can lead to the development of other conditions like pneumonia and other breathing issues.

It’s prudent to take your child to the emergency room near you if your child has severe breathing difficulties and chest rattling. Your specialist may recommend you take your child infected with RSV under six months since they are in a high-risk group. Some of the symptoms that manifest within the 4-6 days after your child is infected with RSV include:

  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing and coughing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Fast breathing and chest straining
  • Apnea

When Should You Take Your Child with RSV to the ER?

Your child can undergo home-based therapy for RSV if they are over six months old. However, your baby needs immediate treatment in the following instances:

  • Your child is three months old and has a persistent fever
  • If your baby is less than six months is in the high-risk group, and has symptoms of RSV
  • An infant faces difficulty in breathing and persistently coughs
  • Decreased appetite and runny nose

How You Can Prevent RSV

At Express ER Care, we recommend you observe the following with regard to safeguarding your child from RSV:

  • Keep your child away from those who have flu-like symptoms
  • Ensure your child remains hydrated
  • Breastfeed the newborn
  • Prevent your child from inhaling smoke
  • Seek immediate treatment if your child finds difficulty in breathing

Home-Based Treatment for RSV

Besides the use of antibiotics for fighting the viral infection, you can alleviate your child’s irritability at home by following the practices below:

  • If your child is coughing, you can use a humidifier to moisten the air and ensure your child breathes with ease.
  • Use saline drops on a stuffy nose and use a suction device to remove mucus.
  • Use recommended medication to alleviate fever, depending on your child’s age. You should avoid aspirin or other cold medications.
  • Give your child plenty of fluids if the viral infection causes vomiting. If your child is under one year, you should avoid giving them juice or water. You can also breastfeed your child at regular intervals. You need to avoid sugary juices for a two-year-old child, which may lead to more irritability.

However, you must visit the ER near you for urgent treatment if your child shows severe signs like weakness. If your baby is under six months, they are at high risk, and you need to consult your health practitioner in advance. In addition, respiratory infections can be detrimental to your child, and you must ensure they undergo immediate medical attention.

If untreated, the illness may affect the lungs and the respiratory airways, leading to adverse effects in the future. Therefore, to prevent your child from undergoing extensive procedures, you must seek medical help at the onset of the viral infection.

Our Practice

If your child has breathing difficulty or irritability, you must take them to your specialist for diagnosis. RSV and other respiratory illnesses can be life-threatening, and at Express ER Care, we provide first-hand treatment for your infected child and provide emergency treatment for infants.

Our professionals ensure that your child is safe from viral infections, and we have advanced equipment at our ER to ensure we provide quality services. In addition, we address most respiratory illnesses and safeguard your child from irritable infections. So, you can make an appointment today and ensure your child gets personalized treatment.

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