The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: World Prematurity Day is November 17th: Learn the Risks Associated with Preterm Birth. #RSVawareness #MC
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

World Prematurity Day is November 17th: Learn the Risks Associated with Preterm Birth. #RSVawareness #MC

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Every once in a while, I like posting information that might help my readers and that I believe is important to get out there. This is one of those times.

November 17th is World Prematurity Day. There are some risks associated with pregnancies and having a preemie is one of those risks. Each year worldwide, 13 million babies are born prematurely and more than one million preemies have died just this year from the serious health challenges they face.

That number is way too high. Just here in the United States, the prematurity rate is 12.2%. Believe it or not, that is one of the highest in the world. And that rate, continues to rise. Just in the last 25 years, it has risen by 36%!! That is a staggering fact.

One of the problems is that many parents do not have the information about the risks that premature births is a leading cause of neonatal deaths. A recent survey found that 75% of parents don’t know the definition of prematurity. Prematurity is defined as a birth at or before 37 weeks. I actually did not know that either.

During this time, heading into winter, it is a good time to make parents aware that a seasonal virus can pose a threat to preemies and infants. RSV: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common seasonal virus, contracted by nearly all children by the age of two. While RSV causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, it can be fatal to preemies. Their little undeveloped lungs and immune systems cannot handle the RSV symptoms like persistent coughing or wheezing, rapid breaths, difficulty breathing, fever and bluish color around the mouth or fingernails.
Here are some key RSV Facts: 
* RSV occurs in epidemics each year, typically from November through March, though it can vary by geography and year-to year 
* RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year 
* RSV disease is responsible for one of every 13 pediatrician visits and one of every 38 trips to the ER in children under the age of five 
* Despite being so common, many parents aren't aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers have never heard of the virus

It is imperative to learn about the symptoms and facts about RSV because it is very contagious. The virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. It can be spread by touching, sneezing and coughing. It is super important for parents and siblings to be careful around the babies. The common sense precautions you would use to prevent a cold can be used to prevent RSV.
Remember to:
* Wash your hands and make sure others do
* Wash and clean surfaces, toys and clothes that the baby comes in contact with
* Stay away from crowds and places where others can spread germs
* Keep people who are sick away form the baby
* Practice good hygiene
So this November 17th on World Prematurity Day remember these tips and information and pass it along to any parent you might know. It is all about trying to spread the word and making sure to educate people about the the potential risks associated with preterm births, so parents of preemies are prepared to help protect these vulnerable babies. For more information, you can visit Get informed because you might be able to save a life!


  1. thanks for getting out this valuable information. I had a premie 40 years ago & lots of medical improvements since then.
    Faythe @GrammyMouseTails