Inhaled Steroids for Infants with Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

New research in the British Medical Journal indicates that when infants have wheezing due to Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), high dose steroids do not reduce the occurrence or severity of wheezing.  The study’s conclusion is that steroids should not be used for wheezing in in infants with RSV induced wheezing.

RSV is a common viral pathogen that causes inflammation of the small airways in the lungs.  Like many respiratory tract infections, it is more likely to be serious in infants and young children.  It is a common cause of hospitalization for respiratory tract infection in children younger than 1 year old.

What can you do to prevent RSV?  Several things for starters:

  • Breast feeding your infant is probably the best way to prevent infections
  • Make sure that mom is eating well and has good nutrition so that her baby does too.  Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D are important; they can be found in a good multi-vitamin. Essential fatty acids from fish are important, too.  Sugar and other simple carbohydrates tend to lower immune function.
  • Keep your infant and young child away from friends and family members that are sick
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Wipe down surfaces with 91% isopropyl alcohol – do not apply to your child’s skin because they can absorb it easily and it can hurt your baby
Be well,
Richard
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