The 2020 cold and flu season is going to be especially dangerous for vulnerable babies and families.

We need to educate ourselves and each other. 

We know that taking these steps will help us reduce the risks of respiratory infections:

Get your flu shot. Stay up-to-date with your family's immunizations.

Stay home when you can.

When you have to go out, wear a mask and stay at least six feet apart from people who are not a part of your household.

Change your clothes when you get home.

Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water for more than 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you can't.


See more resources on our COVID-19 page, including resources in Spanish.

It may be the common cold for you... but it can be life threatening for some babies.

EDUCATE  yourself about Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV). 
ADVOCATE  for evidence-based RSV prevention. 
INTEGRATE  RSV Awareness into your practice.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is one version of the common cold.

For most healthy children and adults it will cause a slight cough, watery nasal congestion, and mild fever. But in babies that were born prematurely or have certain health conditions, RSV can be much more serious and have devastating health consequences.

      • Some babies who get infected with RSV are sick for weeks.
      • They may wheeze for months - or even years - and can go on to develop chronic lung disease.
      • Because it clogs their airways, many babies cannot get enough oxygen and must be admitted to the hospital for respiratory support.
      • Hospital admissions can last a week or longer.
      • The sickest babies may even need to be placed on a breathing machine or heart lung bypass.
      • Tragically, some babies infected with RSV die from its effects.

The good news is that we have a proven, effective therapy and there are FDA-approved, evidence-based guidelines that describe which babies should have access to this medication. 

Babies who were born prematurely or who have compromised respiratory or immune systems can receive monthly antibody injections. When given as prophylaxis during the RSV season It is an effective way to significantly decrease the risks of RSV infection for this vulnerable population.There is solid evidence that babies who were born prematurely or have compromised respiratory or immune systems benefit from these antibody injections.  

The National Perinatal Association supports access to this much-needed therapy.

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published new RSV guidelines and recommendations that contradict the FDA-approved indications and have the effect of significantly limiting the  number of vulnerable babies who will be approved to receive the medication. 

We believe this new AAP guidance will leave many more infants vulnerable to serious complications from RSV infection.

The National Perinatal Association RSV Guidelines support the FDA-approved indications for this medication and recommend the medication be available for all preterm and at-risk babies who have been shown to benefit from its use.

Currently the NPA supports several initiatives to address this issue, including the following:

  • The revision of NPA's RSV Guidelines to reflect new data and information about RSV.
  • The creation of resources for parents and professionals that highlight current information about RSV and how to appeal insurer's decisions to deny access to RSV prophylaxis for a child who is at high risk.
  • Partnering with organizations to collaborate on effective ways to educate and inform the public, healthcare providers, payers and policy makers about this issue. 

EDUCATE  yourself about the risks of RSV

How To Recognize RSV Symptoms: Scarlett's Story

What Kande Hein thought were initially cold symptoms turned out to be Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in her 5-week-old baby girl, Scarlett. After the infant recovered from hospitalization, Kande has made it her mission to educate other parents on the dire signs and symptoms of the virus.

VIDEO by Baylor Scott & White Health

Survey Says: RSV

Parents of young children lack knowledge about a potentially deadly seasonal virus.

The National Coalition for Infant Health summarizes results of its recent survey on RSV, which demonstrated that parents need more information about the potentially deadly disease.

See their advocacy work and resources www.infanthealth.org/rsv

ADVOCATE  for vulnerable infants

The Gap Baby - An RSV Story 

by the National Coalition for Infant Health

"Most health plans cover the treatment for severely premature infants and term infants may be able to fight off the virus on their own - but that leaves this baby and other babies born between 29 and 36 weeks in a coverage gap."

See their resources.

SHARE  RSV Awareness materials

DOWNLOAD  RSV door hangers

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Kristy Love, Executive Director   klove@nationalperinatal.org

P.O. Box 392 Lonedell, MO 63060

© 2020 National Perinatal Association

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