What are some tips for taking care of a baby with RSV at home?

For your baby’s care at home:

- Give your baby plenty of rest. Most do not feel well enough to be very active.

- Give your baby plenty to drink.

- Avoid cigarette smoke and odor around your baby.

- Give acetaminophen (Tylenol® or other less costly store brand) if advised by your baby’s pediatrician to control fever. Follow the directions on the box carefully or ask your pediatrician how much medicine to give.

- Do not give your baby more than 5 doses of acetaminophen in a 24-hour period.

- Do not give acetaminophen to babies less than 3 months of age without talking with your child's pediatrician.

- Suction the nose or mouth with a bulb syringe as needed, especially before a feeding. This helps keep your baby from coughing and gagging during his feeding.

- Salt water (saline) drops may be used prior to suctioning the nose.

- Give cough and cold medicines only as advised by your baby’s pediatrician. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

- For children less than 6 years of age – cough and cold medicines usually do not work well in babies and young toddlers. They also can cause serious side effects. Do not use them if your child is less than 6 years old unless your pediatrician tells you to.

- Do not give a child less than 6 years old any medicine that is made for children over the age of 6.

- Many brands of cough and cold medicines have the same kinds of ingredients. Many have unnecessary ingredients. Using more than 1 brand or mixing brands can cause serious overdose and harm in your baby. Use these medicines only as directed by your baby’s pediatrician.

- Washing your hands often and well can help stop germs from spreading to others.

Your baby can return to daycare as soon as your pediatrician advises. This is usually about 24 hours after the fever is gone without the need of medicines for fever control.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.