RSV Infection: Comforting a Child

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RSV Infection: Comforting a Child

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You can help comfort your child who has respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection by trying the following:

  • Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help control fever. Follow all instructions on the label. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor’s advice about what amount to give. Do not give ASA to anyone younger than 20 because of the risk of Reye syndrome.
  • Watch for signs of dehydration. Replace fluids lost through rapid breathing, fever, diarrhea, or vomiting. Encourage more frequent breast- or bottle-feeding. Avoid giving your baby sports drinks, soft drinks, undiluted fruit juice, or water. These beverages may contain too much sugar, contain too few calories, or lack the proper balance of essential minerals (electrolytes).
  • Keep your child away from people who smoke. Smoke irritates the breathing tubes and slows healing.
  • Keep your child in an upright position. Place the child in a car seat or infant seat. This may make it easier for the child to breathe and sleep. Place extra pillows under the upper half of an older child's body, or raise the head of the bed by putting wood blocks under the bed frame.
  • Use saline nose drops and an aspirating bulb to clear your baby's nose. You may need to suction your baby's nose if he or she is unable to breathe well enough to eat or sleep.
  • If your child is having trouble breathing or symptoms are getting worse, contact a doctor.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last Revised September 1, 2010

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