Comfort measures for a child infected with RSV

You can help your child who is infected with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection be more comfortable by trying the following:

  • Give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen to help control a high fever. Follow all instructions on the label. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor’s advice about what amount to give. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 because of the risk of Reye syndrome.
  • Keep your child away from people who smoke. Smoke irritates the breathing tubes and slows healing.
  • Keep your baby or child in an upright position. Place the child in a car seat or infant seat. This may make it easier for the child to breathe and sleep. Place extra pillows under the upper half of an older child's body, or raise the head of the bed by putting wood blocks under the bed frame.
  • Use saline nose drops and an aspirating bulb to clear your baby's nose. You may need to suction your baby's nose if he or she is unable to breathe well enough to eat or sleep.
  • If your child is having difficulty breathing or symptoms are getting worse, contact a doctor.

Last Updated: July 16, 2008

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