Partager :

Common winter illnesses

Premature babies may be at increased risk of complications from winter illnesses. In this fact sheet you will find information on the most common winter illnesses and suggestions for protecting your family.

The information in this leaflet has been adapted with permission from Bliss publications in the United Kingdom

Its publication was made possible thanks to an unrestricted educational grant from AstraZeneca Canada. Special thanks to Dr. Jennifer Toye, neonatologist, for her advice and for the review.

Download PDF document

Available in french : Les maladies hivernales

Highlights about RSV

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection can be serious and affects the lungs and airways.

It is most common in preemies and remains the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infection. Most children will have contracted the virus by the age of two or three.

These infections tend to occur during cold weather.

As parents, you can help reduce the risk to your baby.

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid taking your baby to crowded places
  • Keep surfaces clean in your home
  • Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke

For more information

Prematurity during COVID-19

If you are worried about the disease, we invite you to follow the recommended health instructions for everyone –

  • Wash your hands often with lukewarm running water and soap.
  • Disinfect your hands with an alcohol-based solution if you do not have access to soap and water.
  • Keep a distance of at least 2 meters (about 6 feet) from other people. If this is not possible, wear a face cover.
  • Cover your face in public places. 
  • Limit your movements as much as possible.

To find other resources, here are some useful links:

RSV during COVID-19

RSV is the most common respiratory pathogen for premature infants and remains the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infection.

Hospitals, clinics and CLSCs have taken additional measures to ensure the safety and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during appointments:

  • Screening for symptoms at the entrance
  • Hand washing
  • Limited number of visitors
  • Respect of distancing measures in waiting rooms
  • Systematic disinfection of the examination rooms between patients
  • Wearing a face mask.

During Covid-19, the risk of severe RSV infection in vulnerable children remains high, immunization programs must be maintained.

  • We do not yet have a vaccine against COVID-19.
  • There is no vaccine against RSV. However, there is an antibody injection, which, when given monthly during RSV infection season, reduces hospitalizations in high-risk children.

To find out if this type of preventive treatment is right for your baby, please ask your doctor.

Educational videos on prematurity

Préma-Québec has produced 5 educational videos (4 in French only) that answer common questions that parents have about their pre-term children. The topics covered are feeding a preemie, breastfeeding, and occupational and physical therapy services for infants. The videos feature healthcare professionals working in neonatology. Watch our videos below! (You can also visit our YouTube channel.)

L’alimentation du bébé prématuré durant la première année

(French only)

Ergothérapie et physiothérapie au service des bébés prématurés

(French only)

La constipation chez le bébé

(French only)

L’allaitement du bébé prématuré

(French only)

Vaccination in premature infants