How to Treat RSV at Home

Are you worried about your child’s RSV infection? If so, this article is here to help. RSV can be managed in the home with simple care strategies, so you don’t have to worry any longer. You’ll learn helpful tips to treat this virus today.

Quick facts: Treating Rsv At Home

  • ✅ Most cases of RSV can be safely monitored and managed at home, with the guidance of a medical provider. (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • ✅ Handwashing is the most effective way to reduce the spread of RSV. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • ✅ RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in young children. (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • ✅ Children with RSV who are younger than 6 months are more likely to require hospital care. (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • ✅ Prevention strategies for RSV include immunizing pregnant women, avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke, and avoiding contact with people who are sick. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV as it is commonly known, is a respiratory virus that has the potential to cause serious illness in some people. This virus primarily affects infants and young children, but can also affect older adults. The infection can be treated at home in most cases. However, if symptoms worsen or if your child is younger than six months of age, it is important to contact a healthcare provider and seek medical attention.

This guide will provide an overview of how to treat RSV at home including methods of symptom relief and prevention measures. It will also discuss when you should see a healthcare provider and what types of treatments they may use for more severe cases. By understanding how to treat RSV at home, you can help your loved one feel better while minimizing any potential complications associated with this virus.

What is RSV?

RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus. It is a common upper respiratory virus in infants and young children but can affect people of any age. It is especially dangerous in children under two years of age, as it can cause serious breathing problems, leading to hospitalization. Symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, fever and symptoms of a cold. In some cases RSV can develop into bronchiolitis or pneumonia, which require medical treatment.

Treatment for RSV depends on the severity of the infection, but most mild cases can be treated with rest and home remedies at home. To help reduce risk of spreading the virus it is important to:

  • Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces.
  • Wash contaminated clothing and bedding separately from other laundry.
  • Avoid contact with anyone that has been infected with RSV until the infection has fully cleared up.

If symptoms become severe enough that you are worried about your child’s health it is always best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Symptoms of RSV

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a virus that can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. Common symptoms of RSV include coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and fever. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of RSV in order to properly diagnose and treat the illness.

Let’s take a look at what other symptoms you should look out for:


Coughing is one of the most common symptoms of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). This virus causes an infection in the lungs, and when affected by it, an individual might experience a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, mild headache, chest congestion or tightness, or even cough.

Coughing associated with RSV will usually be dry and can last for several days. It may be accompanied by chest pain or tightness as well as fever and fatigue. If coughing persists for more than a week and gets worse over time, it’s important to see your doctor to find out if any other treatments are needed.

Other treatment options for RSV include:

  • Rest
  • Hydration
  • Avoiding contact with other sick people
  • Fever-reducing medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Decongestants


Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound that occurs during breathing due to narrowing of the airways. Wheezing often occurs with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and colds, flu, bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma can also cause wheezing. It is most commonly heard when exhaling and may be associated with rapid or labored breathing.

Wheezing can be a sign of a severe form of RSV called bronchiolitis that affects infants and young children. It can also indicate that other respiratory conditions such as asthma or pneumonia are present. If wheezing is heard along with other symptoms such as:

  • difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • a bluish tint to the skin

it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

Difficulty breathing

One of the most common symptoms of RSV, which stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is difficulty breathing. This symptom can be very serious and require immediate medical attention.

Difficulty breathing can present itself in several ways, including:

  • A rapid heart rate or increased breathing rate
  • Grunting when breathing
  • Nasal flaring when inhaling
  • Working harder to breathe
  • Chest retractions (pulling muscles in with each breath)

If someone is experiencing any of these difficulties while suffering from RSV they should seek medical care as soon as possible to prevent a more serious condition such as pneumonia.

Treatment at home may include:

  • Saline drops (for infants) to help loosen any mucus that might be blocking the airway
  • A cool mist humidifier
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen


Fever is a common symptom of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) and it is important to pay close attention to how high the fever gets, as well as how long it lasts. A fever that occurs in conjunction with RSV can range from 100°F to 106°F and can last for up to seven days.

It’s important that if your child has a fever due to RSV they should be provided with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as these medications can help reduce the temperature and make them more comfortable. It is also wise to monitor other associated symptoms, such as cough and congestion, in order to determine if additional treatments or medical intervention is required.


When it comes to treating RSV at home, prevention is the best medicine. Taking steps to ensure your home environment is as clean and healthy as possible is an important first step.

Make sure to regularly wash and clean your hands, as well as surfaces that could be contaminated with germs. Additionally, keep younger children from kissing and hugging those who may have been exposed to the virus.

Follow these steps to give your family the best chance at avoiding RSV:

  • Regularly wash and clean your hands.
  • Clean surfaces that could be contaminated with germs.
  • Prevent younger children from kissing and hugging those who may have been exposed to the virus.

Wash your hands

Washing your hands regularly and properly is one of the most important ways to help prevent and treat RSV. Germs can spread easily when you touch objects or people that have been exposed to the virus, so it’s important to keep your hands clean.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after

  • changing diapers,
  • coughing,
  • sneezing, or
  • blowing your nose.

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs and countertops regularly as well.

It is especially important to keep babies away from anyone who has recently coughed or sneezed.

Avoid contact with people who have RSV

Avoiding contact with people who have respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the best ways to prevent its spread. If you have a family member or close contact with RSV, it’s important to keep their distance as much as possible. This includes washing hands, surface cleaning and avoiding close contact such as hugging or sharing utensils.

It’s also important to keep any young children with RSV away from other children until they have been cleared by their healthcare provider. Additionally, it’s helpful to practice good hygiene – wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – to reduce the risk of spreading germs that can lead to RSV.

Keep your child away from large groups

Keeping your child away from large groups is one of the most important steps to take when trying to prevent RSV. RSV is a contagious respiratory virus that primarily affects infants and young children. It can spread quickly among groups of children in schools, daycare centers, and other places where there are large gatherings. Therefore, it’s important to limit your child’s exposure to these types of situations.

Additionally, keep your child away from smokers and other people who may be exposed to respiratory viruses. Also make sure your child washes his or her hands often and avoid close contact with others who might be ill. By taking these steps you can help reduce the risk of your child catching RSV or other respiratory viruses.


If your child is diagnosed with RSV, it is important to monitor them closely and seek medical help immediately. While there is no specific treatment for RSV, there are measures you can take to help your child cope with their symptoms at home.

Here are some tips on how to treat RSV at home:

Increase fluids

Increasing fluids is one of the most important aspects of treating RSV at home. Fluids and electrolytes help keep your child hydrated, which is essential for a speedy recovery.

Offer your child sugar-free drinks such as water, diluted fruit juices, and clear broths in small frequent sips throughout the day. If possible, try to avoid cold liquids as they can be harder to drink and can irritate your child’s throat. Warm fluids like tea and broth can be more soothing on a sore throat caused by RSV. Check with your pediatrician if you have any questions about what types of fluids are best for your child.

Humidify the air

Humidifying the air in the home can be beneficial for treating RSV because mucus production is higher in dry air. Humidity also helps to thin out mucus and make it easier for babies to clear it from their lungs. Many pediatricians recommend getting a cool mist humidifier for babies’ rooms, which can reduce symptoms and help them feel more comfortable overall.

To avoid mold growth, be sure to follow manufacture instructions for cleaning and use distilled water that has been treated with a demineralizer pack. Additionally, be sure not to over-humidify the environment as this can cause mold issues as well as create an environment where bacteria and viruses thrive instead of dissipating.

Use over-the-counter medications

Using over-the-counter medications can help reduce symptoms of RSV such as coughing, sneezing, and congestion. Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and pain relievers are often recommended. This will help alleviate some of the physical discomfort associated with having RSV.

It is important to read the product label carefully and follow all directions in order to ensure proper use of any medication you may be taking. If you have any questions or concerns regarding over-the-counter medications it would be best to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any new medication.

Monitor your child’s breathing

When a child has been diagnosed with RSV, it’s important to monitor their breathing closely. To do this, you can use a device called a pulse oximeter. This device is placed over the finger or toe and measures the oxygen level in the blood. If the oxygen levels are low, your child may need additional oxygen therapy or medical intervention. It’s important to watch for signs of decreased breath sounds and labored breathing.

In addition to measuring your child’s oxygen levels, you should also keep an eye on their heart rate and temperature while they have RSV. Be sure to contact your doctor if any of these signs become worse as this could indicate that your child’s condition is deteriorating and they may need further medical attention.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you or your child is experiencing a severe case of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) then medical attention should be sought immediately. RSV can cause respiratory distress, high fever, and other serious symptoms. It is important to know when to seek medical assistance before symptoms become too severe.

Signs that it may be time to call a doctor include:

  • Labored breathing
  • Fast or shallow breaths
  • Coughing up large amounts of mucus
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Refusing fluids or food
  • Bluish-colored lips or fingernails
  • Fever higher than 100°F (37°C)
  • Significant nasal discharge alongside nasal irritation
  • Difficulty sleeping due to congestion

If you experience any of these symptoms with RSV it is best to contact your healthcare provider for further advice.


In conclusion, it is essential that parents and caregivers take the necessary steps to protect their children from contracting RSV. If your child is suspected of having RSV, it is recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Treatment of RSV may include supportive care at home or in the hospital, depending on the severity of your child’s condition.

  • At home care typically includes rest, fluids and humidifiers to help keep your baby’s nose hydrated and breathing comfortably.
  • Parents should also monitor fever and look for other symptoms such as wheezing or difficulty breathing.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak with a healthcare professional immediately.

FAQs about: Treating Rsv At Home

Q: How can I treat RSV at home?

A: The most important thing for treating RSV at home is to keep the air humid and to drink plenty of fluids. Additionally, you can use over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, to reduce fever and help with any pain or discomfort. Make sure to get plenty of rest, and if symptoms worsen, contact a healthcare provider.

Q: Are there any home remedies to help treat RSV?

A: Yes, there are several home remedies that can help with RSV. These include keeping the air humid, drinking plenty of fluids, and using over-the-counter medications to reduce fever and help with pain or discomfort. Additionally, getting plenty of rest will help reduce symptoms. If symptoms worsen, contact a healthcare provider.

Q: When should I contact a healthcare provider about RSV?

A: You should contact a healthcare provider if your symptoms worsen or if you experience difficulty breathing, persistent coughing, chest pain, or dehydration. You should also contact a healthcare provider if your baby has a fever or is younger than 3 months old.

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