Mystic, CT, April 11, 2018 --(PR.com
)-- Mothers of children in group care are at increased risk for cytomegalovirus (Pass et al., 1986) and most childcare providers are unaware they have an occupational risk for cytomegalovirus (Joseph et al., 2006). Congenital (present at birth) cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the leading viral cause of birth defects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), congenital CMV disables 4,000 babies each year in the U.S.
The March of Dimes states: "As many as 7 in 10 children (70 percent) between 1 and 3 years of age who go to day care may have CMV. They can pass it on to their families, caretakers and other children."
Lisa Saunders of Mystic, Connecticut, instrumental in the passage of the 2016 CMV law in Connecticut, just published the book, "Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV," to help educate women who care for children on how to reduce their chances of contracting CMV. Saunders was a licensed childcare provider unaware of her increased risk for CMV until after her daughter Elizabeth was born severely disabled by it in 1989. "Most pregnant women know to avoid dirty kitty litter and mosquito bites to protect their unborn babies from disabilities caused by infections," says Saunders, "but very few know how to prevent CMV, which causes more disabilities than Zika or fetal alcohol syndrome."
Jessica Rachels of Sandpoint, Idaho, was another childcare provider uninformed of her increased risk for CMV. Jessica’s daughter, Natalie was born disabled by congenital CMV in 2006. Rachels is including the book, "Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV," in her outreach efforts to daycare centers and Early Head Start programs as part of her Idaho CMV Advocacy Project (https://idahocmv.com).
The stories of childcare providers, Jessica Rachels and Lisa Saunders are told in the first chapter of "Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV."
According to the CDC, "Women may be able to lessen their risk of getting CMV by reducing contact with saliva and urine from babies and young children. Some ways to do this are: kissing children on the cheek or head rather than the lips, and washing hands after changing diapers. These cannot eliminate your risk of getting CMV, but may lessen your chances of getting it." Download this flyer from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/cmv/downloads/pregnant-patients-cmv.pdf
"Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV" is dedicated to mothers who find out too late about CMV and includes the lyrics to the new song, "Had I Known (about CMV)" © 2018 DebraSong Publishing. Debra Lynn Alt of North Branford, Connecticut, performed the song for the first time on the Lisa Saunders Show in March 2018. Alt, a former lead singer for the Rolling Stone Magazine House Band writes songs for causes and books that celebrate life—no matter where the journey leads (debralynnalt.com).
Saunders maintains the blog, http://congenitalcmv.blogspot.com, where she provides links to free resources for childcare centers.