Dear Family and Friends,
We are writing regarding a very important matter, Allison's health and safety. For those of you who plan to visit us over the next few months, please take a few minutes to read this letter.
We would like to share an important topic recently discussed with us by Allison's doctors. If you are not aware of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) you are of the majority. Nearly every child has had the virus at least once by age two. For babies born full-term and without complications, it is typically a bad cold. But, the highest risk factors for contracting RSV and developing complications like pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and other sometimes fatal complications are; being born premature, being born with a lung condition, or being born with a heart condition. Allison was born with all three.
Preventing the spread of RSV is very difficult. Thus, we must be vigilant about keeping Allison safe during RSV season (October through April). The virus is spread through physical contact, in the air via a cough or sneeze, or by touching an infected object. The virus can live as long as six hours on hands, and up to twelve hours on objects. If Allison contracts RSV she will likely be hospitalized since she does not have the necessary immunities to fight off infection like the rest of us. Last year alone, over 125,000 infants in the US were hospitalized due to complications from contracting RSV.
That being said, we'll be asking our visitors to follow a few guidelines to help prevent Allison from contracting RSV or other illnesses.
Please be prepared to take off your shoes and wash your hands upon entering our home.
Please refrain from coming over if you are currently experiencing any illness symptoms, or have been in close contact with anyone showing symptoms.
If you are a parent of young children, please refrain from bringing them into our home during RSV season. The most common form of transmission is from child to child.
If you smoke or live with someone who smokes, please change your clothing and refrain from smoking prior to visiting. Allison's lungs are very sensitive to smoke and even passive exposure increases her risk of contracting an illness.
If at all possible, get a flu shot at the start of the season.
Please do not let these precautions frighten you or stop you from making contact with our family. They are simple precautions that every loving parent with a fighter like ours must take during this season.
Unfortunately this also means that there will be events during RSV season that we will be unable to attend with Allison. If you know that either young children will be attending, or that the number of people attending is too large to screen, please advise us of this. Please do not be offended if we have to turn down your invitation, as we are simply trying to keep our baby from going back to the hospital.
We have been advised that Allison's lungs will be fragile until she is 2-years of age. We hope you understand, and we appreciate your help in keeping Allison RSV-free until then.
Best Regards and Warm Wishes!
-Allison's Loving Parents