If you are a parent and your kids are old enough to tie their shoes, you probably know all about RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus. It's a very common virus that all kids have had at least once by the time they are a toddler. Explains in for a small percentage of children who get RSV it can be very serious.
Jen Grossman says, "It starts out with a cold and then you can tell his chest starts to get thick. He starts to get kind of lethargic. You can tell his breathing is becoming labored and that's usually when we get nervous. And of course it's always in the middle of the night."
To avoid another trip to the emergency room, Jen and her husband would hook Riley up to a Nebulizer on the onset of a heavy chest. They would put it up to his mouth for 10 minutes every four hours to help his breathing which turned in to a very long night.
Jen says, "Now that he's older it's not as stressful. When he was a baby and his oxygen level got down to the lower 80's (when it should be in the 90's) it's really scary. If you'd lay him down he would just cry because he couldn't breath. Now that he's 2 he pats his chest and says hurts momma."
Dr. Shannon Hoima is Riley's Pediatrician at the Main McGreevy Clinic Avera. She says, "RSV is so common that almost all kids will have RSV infection by the age of 2. Most of them have symptoms of the common cold so parents may not even know they have it which is OK. But for the small percentage of children who get severe respiratory problems from RSV they need to see their doctor. As a parent, if they are having trouble breathing, breathing faster or harder than usual or are wheezing you should get them in as soon as possible."
Riley was 4 weeks premature and the experts aren't 100% sure that's the reason he seems to be effected so seriously by RSV. The good thing is, he's expected to grow out of this phase and his trouble with the virus and his mom couldn't be more grateful for. She only hopes that happens way before he outgrows his excitement for Santa's yearly visit.