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an adorable baby is covered in kisses with a white background
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Kissing Babies is Selfish:  How to Keep Babies Safe from Grabby Relatives

When a new baby is born into a family, some folk seem to think that they’re a community property that can be passed around and handled in any way they please.  Who cares that the mother is clearly uncomfortable as long as Aunt Mildred gets to plant her lips on the new babe’s cheek?

While a kiss might seem innocent enough, the consequences can actually be deadly for babies – and that’s exactly what happened to Ariana DiGrigorio’s son, AJ.

How a Simple Kiss Can Mean Respiratory Failure for a Baby

Ariana DiGrigorio shared a photo of her baby who had been recently hospitalized with RSV, aka respiratory syncytial virus.  She stated that adults were to blame for what happened to her son.

In a now-viral Facebook post, AJ’s mother wrote, “Don’t be selfish.  Don’t kiss babies.  It’s not worth it.  Don’t be the reason a baby is hospitalized (or dead) because the baby was ‘just so cute I had to kiss her!”

Ariana Digrigorios son AJ is shown on a hospital bed as he is being treated for RSV
Facebook | Ariana DiGrigorio

She believes that her son contracted RSV from someone at his daycare when he was just 8 months old.  He had flu-like symptoms and initially tested negative for RSV when she first took him to a doctor, but his symptoms persisted and he started struggling to even breathe.

That’s when Ariana decided to drive him straight to the ER, where he tested positive for the virus.  He was later admitted to the ICU and went into respiratory failure.  Thankfully AJ was able to recover, but not all little ones are so lucky.

How to Keep Your Baby Safe from RSV and Other Viruses

One of the best ways to keep your baby safe from germs, especially during the cold and flu season, is to learn how to say no to friends, family, and strangers who might insist on getting a little too close.

You can also follow these steps to help prevent your baby further:

  • If you have any cold symptoms yourself, avoid kissing your baby. It isn’t just other people who can get your baby sick.
  • If at all possible, try to limit the time your baby might stay in daycare from late fall to early spring. That is when RSV is most common, and babies can be at high-risk.
  • If someone wants to touch your baby, insist that they wash their hands first. You should also be washing your own hands very often.
  • Keep your baby away from crowds during the cold and flu season.
  • Don’t let people smoke around your baby.
  • Disinfect and clean any hard surfaces.
  • If your baby’s siblings are suffering from cold or flu symptoms, be sure to keep them at a safe distance, and that they wash their hands often.
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Maisie Peterson