Mother issues warning about kissing babies after 8-month-old lands in ER
A New Jersey mother has issued a stern warning about kissing babies after her own 8-month-old son landed in the emergency room, according to CafeMom.
Ariana DiGrigorio took to Facebook last month to share a harrowing photo of her boy, Antonio, with tubes in his nose. The infant had reportedly contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) from a daycare facility in December 2018.
"Adults — you are contagious up to 24 hours before you start showing symptoms!" she wrote. "Please keep your mouths/breaths away from a baby's face, hands, and feet. Don't be the reason a baby is hospitalized (or dead) because the baby was 'just so cute I had to kiss her!'"
Though considered a common respiratory virus, RSV is especially dangerous for infants and older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common symptoms include a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing. Because the symptoms are similar to those of a flu, DiGrigorio told CafeMom that doctors repeatedly diagnosed her son with the viral infection even though the symptoms persisted for two months.
"The runny nose, the cough, and the congestion all seemed to be getting worse," she said.
Upon Antonio's second visit to the hospital in February, the boy's mother learned that her son, in fact, had RSV, which can be contracted through contact.
"It's super awkward as a parent to have to tell someone (especially a family member or friend) to step away from your baby," DiGrigorio continued in her post. "It's also super difficult to stop someone from kissing your child after they're already going in for the kiss."
Antonio purportedly spent the next six days in the pediatric ICU — an instance that his mother, who has a background in medicine, said is unusual.
"I've only seen stories about infants (5 weeks to 8 weeks old) who were hospitalized with this virus," she said.
The 8-month-old has since developed asthma from his RSV and now sees a pulmonologist every four months, DiGrigorio added. The mother said she recently decided to share her story to raise awareness about the virus.
"Don't be selfish. Don't kiss babies. It's not worth it," she said, in concluding her post. "Also, if you're sick, please stay home. What might be a 'sinus infection' or 'allergies' to you, could translate to a life-threatening illness for a baby."