RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, can be a really scary virus for new parents and infants. It can cause breathing struggles and lung irritation that can be dangerous and even deadly to babies.

If your little one starts to experience some concerning cold-like symptoms, it is important to watch him or her very closely. RSV can begin like a common cold and then get worse really quickly.

Our team at AFC Urgent Care Monroe Rd. can help you better understand what situations constitute an emergency with RSV below!

Why Does RSV Affect Babies Differently?

Whenever someone contracts RSV, the virus typically settles in the breathing passages or upper respiratory tract. The resulting symptoms most likely present like the common cold in otherwise healthy adults, and most people won’t even think twice about an alternate diagnosis!

With babies and especially infants, this is certainly not the case. Viruses cause irritation and inflammation at the source of the infection, and when the virus settles in your baby’s tiny airway or breathing passages, it can be really dangerous. Any inflammation at all can create trouble breathing and oxygen deprivation.

Signs Your Baby Is Having Trouble Breathing

  • Flaring nostrils while breathing
  • Change in skin color
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Chest retractions

What Is a Chest Retraction?

If your baby is experiencing trouble breathing, that means that his or her breathing muscles are not working the way that they are supposed to. They are still trying to work to bring air into your baby’s lungs, but the inflammation in the airway is not allowing that to happen easily.

Since air is not able to easily be pulled in, the muscles instead are pulling in the soft skin and tissue of your baby’s chest. This sudden inward motion of your baby’s chest is what is called a chest retraction. Chest retractions, along with a change in skin color from normal to a bluish or gray color, constitute an emergency as your baby is not able to breathe normally. Seek medical assistance right away!

Preventing Illness in Your Baby

  • Don’t kiss your baby while you are sick.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Don’t let others kiss your baby.
  • Cover your sneeze or cough.

RSV should always be taken seriously. If you are concerned about the health of your infant, come visit us right away at AFC Urgent Care Monroe Rd.