Did you know that 13 million babies are born early every year, including more than half a million in the United States and 1 in every 10 babies are born prematurely? That is a staggering fact. We need to raise awareness. November 17th is World Prematurity Day and to prepare for World Prematurity Day, I would like to share some fact with you all. It is so very important to be educated about the possibility of prematurity…. An amazing 3 in 10 mothers of preemies weren’t aware of the possibility of prematurity until they had their first child. And 75% of parents don’t know the definition of prematurity. Here is a non-technical definition, of prematurity.
Premature babies that are born too soon are very likely to be transferred to a neonatal unit where they are given care by a specialist. Depending on how premature the baby is, the baby’s organs may not be entirely developed so they may need help breathing and they will need their heart rate and temperature motored. Because their immune systems and lungs aren’t fully developed, preemies are more likely to develop infections and are more susceptible to respiratory problems.
Any soon to be mother has to know the possibility of prematurity. On November 17 – World Prematurity Day – is there to educate
parents about the possibility of and potential risks associated with preterm births.
An astounding 79 percent of preemie moms have a baby who was hospitalized due to a severe respiratory infection. There is a virus that preemie parents should especially know about this is called RSV, respiratory syncytial virus RSV is contracted by nearly all children by the age of two, the symptoms often act like the common cold. When preemies contract RSV they are at the most risk for developing more serious symptoms, the symptoms can include serious respiratory infection from the virus, because preemies lungs are underdeveloped and they don’t have the antibodies needed to fight off infection.
Make sure to check out this informative infographic:
Here are a few facts about RSV
• RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, and severe RSV disease causes up to 10 times
as many infant deaths each year as the flu.
• RSV is most prevalent during the winter months. The CDC has defined the “RSV season” as
beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
• In addition to prematurity, common risk factors include low birth weight, certain lung or heart
diseases, a family history of asthma and frequent contact with other children.
There are alarmingly higher rates of prematurity and RSV in the U.S. Hispanic Community
• The current rate of preterm births in the U.S. Hispanic community is 11.66 percent. Since 2006,
the preterm rate has declined 5 percent for Hispanic infants.
• Data indicate that infants from U.S. Hispanic communities are at increased risk to develop
severe RSV disease; while the exact reason for the increased risk is unknown, the increased
prematurity rate is likely a contributing factor.
• Two-thirds of U.S. Hispanic mothers have never heard of RSV, and one in five U.S. Hispanic
moms only becomes aware of RSV once their child has contracted the virus.
The most important thing is prevention in this case. RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. There is no treatment for RSV, you must take preventive steps to help your child, make sure to wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently.
Be sure to know the symptoms, and contact your child’s pediatrician if your child exhibits one or more of the following, Severe coughing, wheezing or rapid gasping breaths, Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails High fever and extreme fatigue. Make sure to check out the websites the RSV Protection Site and visit www.preemievoices.com for more information.
There are many activities all around the world to raise awareness for premature births, including illuminating homes and businesses in a purple light. Please send this post to your friends and family, we need research into the causes of premature birth and we must develop treatment and some preventative strategies raising awareness in the U.S. Hispanic community is so very important.
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