Guest Post By Genevieve Kane, MSN, RN
Many parents and caregivers are familiar with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is a common respiratory virus, and most kids experience it by the time they are toddlers.
For some kids, RSV appears as a simple cold. However, for other children, RSV can cause significant respiratory issues and require medical care. RSV is to blame for between 58,000 and 80,000 hospitalizations in children under five years of age per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And despite recovering from the illness, young kids three and under seem to be most at risk for long-term respiratory complications.
Long-Term Impacts of RSV
Problems typically occur with RSV when it involves the lower respiratory tract. Lower airway involvement happens in approximately 15-50% of children with RSV. And for those who have lower respiratory tract involvement, the associated wheezing can last up to four weeks.
Additionally, while data from studies are mixed, generally, RSV affecting the lower respiratory tract is considered a risk factor for developing long-term impacts of RSV. Kids who have experienced this type of infection may have recurrent wheezing and asthma during childhood and possibly into adolescence and adulthood.
Firsthand Experience of the Long-Term Effects of RSV
Kelly, a mom of two young children, experienced firsthand how scary an RSV infection is. When her son was three months old, her older daughter presumably brought RSV home from preschool. The RSV infection happened in March of 2022 when facilities began to lift strict COVID-19 restrictions.
Her family had hardly experienced so much as a cold in the last two years. When her daughter brought home RSV, the bug hit the entire family hard, especially her new infant son.
He needed treatment in the emergency department (ED), and when she brought him home, the only way they both could get any rest was with him propped up on her chest. Sick herself and still recovering from a C-section, she struggled to breathe deeply enough for the nasal aspirator she had at home to work. It required her to use her mouth to produce suction and suck — with mucus getting blocked from entering her mouth by a filter.
Desperate to get sleep and help her little boy feel better, Kelly did what so many mothers have done during the middle-of-the-night sessions with their babies — she turned to Amazon for help. In a sleepy haze, she stumbled upon the NozeBot.
It had great reviews, was portable, battery-operated, and advertised as easy to clean. She purchased the device and said, “I can’t even begin to describe how much of a game changer it was.”
After recovering from RSV, Kelly and her family caught COVID-19, a rhinovirus, and hand, foot, and mouth disease. The back-to-back illnesses took their toll on her infant. After all of the colds, he coughed and wheezed for six weeks, ultimately needing both an AlbuterolⓇ inhaler for acute respiratory attacks and a FloventⓇ inhaler to help prevent the attacks in the first place.
A year and a half later, her son still needs the same inhaler combination every time he gets a cold or respiratory bug.
Fear of RSV and Respiratory Illness
For families who have experienced a bad case of RSV, cold and flu season can feel especially scary. Regarding respiratory illnesses, Kelly said, “I feel terrified about it this year. It’s scary. My daughter needs to go to school, but I’m worried about my son”.
Fortunately, they still have the NozeBot to help clear congestion when bugs hit. Their NozeBot is in its second flu and cold season and going strong.
A “no brainer,” according to Kelly, she explains how her four-year-old daughter will ask for the snot sucker (aka NozeBot) because she gets that it helps her feel better. Her daughter will pretend to use it on her teddy bear and then happily let mom help her.
Kelly especially likes that the nosepiece is top-rack dishwasher safe and how well the suction works. Plus, the device is portable, so she can take it to wherever her kids are feeling most comfortable.
Looking for more tips on caring for kids with respiratory bugs? You’ll find these helpful:
- How To Handle Breastfeeding When Sick
- What Parents Need to Know As RSV Season Kicks Off
- Work From Home Tips For Parents With A Sick Kid
- Kids and Respiratory Bugs: When to Worry
- What to Do Immediately When Your Child is in Respiratory Distress
Kelly hopes for better prevention of RSV in the future. However, for now, she considers the NozeBot an essential part of her first aid kit and continues to use it regularly.
While the NozeBot won’t prevent RSV, it can help little ones feel better. Young babies breathe primarily through their noses and can struggle to eat if they’re too congested. Suctioning a baby’s nose before feeding can help clear their nose so they can eat and get the necessary fluids.
And without needing to use your lungs to suck out snot like a lot of the non-battery powered options out there, the NozeBot is also one of the most sanitary options on the market. Easy to clean, portable, and with hospital-grade suction, it is an efficient way to clear out the noses of little children who can’t effectively blow their noses and clear them themselves.
While hopefully RSV and severe respiratory illness stay away from your family this cold and flu season, know that if it does hit your family, the Dr. Noze Best team is here to support you. The Noze Bot was designed with congested kids and tired parents in mind by a pediatric ENT specialist to help parents better help their kids.
Genevieve Kane, MSN, RN, is a mother of four and a registered nurse with a background in pediatrics. When she's not working, you can find her cooking up tasty family dinners or keeping up with her kids on a hiking trail in her home state of Colorado.
A clear nose means better sleep.
The Nozebot is a battery-powered suction device designed to clear nasal congestion in babies and children.