Health professionals say most kids do not need emergency care for RSV

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 9:05 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Hospitals nationwide are being overrun by kids with a respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

Health professionals have said cases are extremely high right now in children, possibly due to unmasking all over the country.

Doctors and nurses are now urging parents to try at-home remedies before taking kids to the emergency room, as they’re finding that most children are not sick enough to go to the hospital. In fact, most kids can be treated completely at home.

Stephanie Showers, a nurse practitioner at Promedica’s Urgent Care for Children, said younger kids and babies have a greater chance of being hospitalized because their airways are smaller. So before a baby feeds, she said to try nasal suctioning with saline to help the baby breathe through his or her nose while drinking a bottle.

Showers added that cool mist humidifiers can also be very effective. If you don’t have one, you can also try turning on the shower and having the child breathe in the steam.

Luckily, she said hospitalization is rare for kids with RSV.

“Only three percent of children are actually admitted. I know we are seeing a lot in the news about RSV, but it is able to be treated at home,” said Showers. “We only need the babies and kids that are having trouble breathing or at risk for dehydration, or maybe you have a chronic illness that makes you more susceptible to developing further diseases, so those are the ones that need to be seen.”

The good news is RSV typically only lasts three to seven days. Showers said a great resource for parents is, a website run by the American Academy of Pediatrics. She also adds that parents can call their child’s pediatrician or go to a local urgent care if they have any questions about RSV.

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