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Lets Talk Health Q & A

Have a question you forgot to discuss at the doctor’s office or are too embarrassed to ask? The experts at Samaritan Health Services are here to help. Dec / Jan

Q: I am worried about my baby catching RSV and wonder whether she should get the prevention shot?

A: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved nirsevimab for the prevention of RSV — respiratory syncytial virus. This prevention shot is recommended for all infants who are under 8 months of age during RSV season. The season varies but is generally from October through March.

Babies born during RSV season should get the injection within a week after birth. Babies born before the season who are still under 8 months of age should get it at a regular checkup (at 2, 4 or 6 months old). Some children with very severe lung or heart disease will also get nirsevimab during their second RSV season.

Ask your child’s pediatrician for more information to help with your decision.

— Eddie Frothingham, MD, Samaritan Medical Group Pediatrics Medical Director

Q: If my child gets a respiratory illness this winter, should I take them to the doctor?

A: As we enter the cold and flu season it is important to know when to seek medical attention when your child is ill. A simple cold, which is caused by any one of numerous respiratory viruses, can develop into a more complicated problem especially in vulnerable individuals — infants, those who have asthma or those with other underlying medical problems.

Help reduce your child’s risk of respiratory illness by avoiding contact with cigarette smoke, getting all recommended vaccinations (including COVID and influenza), and handwashing frequently.

Although we have no cure for these respiratory viral infections, simple measures such as rest, increasing the intake of fluids and following your medical provider’s care plans may minimize the risk of complications.

If your child is showing any of the following signs, call your pediatrician’s office for advice:

  • Earache, sinus pain or pressure.

  • Any fever lasting more than three days.

  • Drinking much less fluid or having fewer wet diapers.

  • A cough lasting more than three weeks.

Seek more immediate attention if your child:

  • Has very rapid breathing (more than 60 breaths in a minute) or difficult/labored breathing.

  • Has difficulty breathing AND it is not better after you clear the child’s nose.

  • Starts acting very sick.

  • Cannot be consoled or comforted.

  • Has had no wet diapers for more than eight hours.

  • Is extremely tired or hard to wake up.

— Eddie Frothingham, MD, Samaritan Medical Group Pediatrics Medical Director


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Call Samaritan Health Services Find a Doctor line at 800-863-5241 to find a provider who is right for you.


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