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World Prematurity Day is November 17th
Fortunately, all my boys were born healthy and strong all within a few days of their due date. But each year worldwide, 13 million babies are born prematurely, and more than one million preemies have died just this year from the serious health challenges they face. The current rate of prematurity in the United States is 12.2 percent—one of the highest rates of preterm birth in the world. 75 percent of parents don’t know the definition of prematurity (birth at or before 37 weeks gestation), and during prenatal care, most pregnant women don’t ask their healthcare provider about the risk of delivering prematurely and the potential consequences of preterm birth for their child.
As preemies often have specialized health needs, it’s important to raise awareness of the increased risks that often come with premature birth. In the time leading up to November 17—World Prematurity Day—we’re hoping to educate all parents about the potential risks associated with preterm births, so parents of preemies are prepared to help protect these vulnerable babies. Since prematurity disrupts a baby’s development in the womb and often stunts the growth of their most critical organs, preemies are susceptible to a variety of illnesses and infections, especially during the winter months. As we head into November, it’s a perfect time to remind those—especially parents of preemies—about one seasonal virus that poses a threat to infants.
Learn the Symptoms of Severe RSV Disease:
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
- · Persistent coughing or wheezing
- · Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- · Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
- · Fever [especially if it is over 100.4°F (rectal) in infants under 3 months of age]
Know The Facts About RSV Infographic
Please visit the RSV Protection Website for more information