The week's best parenting advice: August 19, 2021

RSV vs. COVID, going free-range after the pandemic, and more

Free-range kids.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

1. RSV vs. COVID: What you need to know

Seasonal spread of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is rising unusually early and quickly this year, pediatric hospitals have reported. Most adults experience RSV as an ordinary cold, but the illness can be severe in young children, and some of its symptoms — including fever, cough, and runny nose — overlap with COVID-19. But there are differences parents may be able to discern: COVID-19 cases in young children tend to be mild, often asymptomatic. RSV is more likely to make itself known, layering on symptoms like sneezing, low appetite, and wheezing. And whichever infection you suspect, of course, seek medical help if your child has trouble breathing, lethargy, dehydration, or high fever.

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