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Parents urged to protect kids from respiratory illnesses this year

Hospitals throughout the country are seeing an influx of pediatric patients as respiratory illnesses like the flu and RSV spread throughout communities.

Pediatric offices in Monroe County believe this is the busiest they have ever been and believe it will only get worse, according to Rochester First.

Children are at a higher risk for severe illness when it comes to the flu or RSV because their immune systems aren’t strong yet. In addition to this, they have successfully avoided the flu and RSV for the last two years due to COVID-19 precautions.

To remain safe, doctors want parents to know symptoms to watch for if their child does get sick. When it comes to babies it’s important to pay attention to how hard they’re breathing and if they’re taking fluids. Babies are at risk of developing a fever, getting a dry mouth, not eating well, and their muscles will be seen pulling in when they try to breathe.

Parents can mask their children indoors while in crowds if it helps them feel safer. If your child is sick be sure to keep them home and practice social distancing.

One doctor told Rochester First that some children have been seen that should have been admitted with their severe case of RSV. Due to some hospitals being at 120% capacity, they were turned away. Some children are sharing rooms in order to fit them all and wait times in the emergency room are between 10 and 12 hours in some cases.