Father and Son

Common Respiratory Illnesses

The most common respiratory virus for premature babies - RSV - the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infection.

Parents of premature babies are very concerned about respiratory illnesses and their babies being re-admitted into hospital following discharge from the NICU. 

 

CPBF receives a lot of requests for information specifically on RSV and how to decrease the risk of their babies getting sick.

 

Here are resources for families, including a NEW handbook, Palivizumab eligibility criteria per province and more.

 
 
 

During COVID-19

"Restrictions put in place to reduce contact, and the spread of COVID-19 may have also reduced the spread of some respiratory viruses. As restrictions ease, many respiratory illnesses are starting to spread once again, especially RSV."

Proper hand washing remains important, as do additional measures such as:

  • Follow Public Health guidelines

  • Keep immunizations up-to-date 

  • Ensure all family members get their seasonal flu shot (including babies 6 months of age and up)

  • If your baby is receiving RSV injections, make sure to continue with the schedule.

 

 To learn more about how you can reduce the risk to your baby, download or view the new CBPF Parent Handbook, "Common Respiratory Illnesses: Reducing the Risk".  

Parent Letter

In collaboration with parents, we have created a letter to download, adapt and share with your family and friends. The letter is helpful in explaining to everyone why you are being extra careful when you bring your preemie home.

Download Parent  letter (Microsoft Word 16 KB)

Podcasts

Tune into "With You in the NICU" podcasts to hear from experts, who will discuss many of the questions and concerns NICU parents often have.

Screen Shot 2021-10-18 at 7.51.35 PM.png

Preemie Chats

Free online events covering a host of Preemie-focused topics

New! Parent Handbook

parent handbook cover.png

CBPF Parent Handbook, "Common Respiratory Ilnesses: Reducing the Risk"

This parent handbook was carefully developed by healthcare experts in the field of neonatal care. The information about common respiratory illnesses (including RSV) is thoughtfully presented in consultation with parents of preemie babies. See a page here.

PDF format 978 KB (16 pages)

New! Infographic: Why Premature Babies are more at Risk

Screen Shot 2021-10-18 at 8.31.32 PM.png

Premature babies are at higher risk of becoming very sick. Read why.

Respiratory viruses bring us familiar cold symptoms that last a few days to a week for most people, but

these same viruses may cause more serious illness in babies. Premature babies are at higher risk

of becoming very sick. 

PDF format 422 KB (1 page)

RSV Injection Criteria

RSV injections are not vaccines; they are antibodies which help protect high-risk babies from RSV. Eligibility criteria is based on recommendations by the Canadian Pediatric Society and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Immunization Guide. ​Each province has its own eligibility criteria. Please see the individual links for more information.

RSV Survey Report

RSV SUMMARY cover.png

New! National Survey Report on RSV (Summary)

A parent survey providing us with their understanding about RSV and respiratory illnesses, and their experience of obtaining this information. The results are very revealing. 

RSV Information Sheets in other Languages

Coming soon!

Screen Shot 2021-10-18 at 9.12.58 PM.png
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A Sneak Peek from the New Parent Handbook of Common Respiratory Ilnesses: Reducing the Risk

Why preemies are at risk of becoming more sick with RSV:

Immature lungs. The lungs are among the last organs to develop before birth. Antibodies are proteins made in the body by a special type of white blood cell. They protect against viruses and bacteria that can make us sick, and help us to fight infections.

Infographic-lungs.png

Protective antibodies that fight infection are passed from the mother across the placenta, mostly in the last few months of pregnancy. The premature baby misses out on the full amount of these antibodies and may also have difficulty producing their own.

Infographic-antibodies.png
 
RSV SUMMARY cover.png

New! National Survey Report on RSV (Summary)

A parent survey providing us with their understanding about RSV and respiratory illnesses, and their experience of obtaining this information. The results are very revealing. Read here.

 

RSV Injection Criteria

Eligibility criteria is based on recommendations by the Canadian Pediatric Society and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Immunization GuideEach province and territory has its own eligibility criteria which varies. Choose your province to read the guidelines. If you have further questions, speak to your baby's doctor.

 

Free! Webinar: Common Winter Illnesses