Tips for Health

Croup

By on April 25, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

What is croup?

Croup is an infection caused generally by a virus. It causes the trachea and the larynx (voice box) to swell, causing a harsh cough similar to a “barking”. Generally, croup lasts 5 to 6 days and is most common during the winter and early spring.

Children who are 5 years or less are more likely to have croup. If your child was born prematurely, also has a higher risk of having croup.

How do I know if my child has croup?

If you are not sure your child has croup, your doctor can diagnose it. The most common symptoms of croup include fever, hoarseness and barking cough. The symptoms of croup usually affects children between 1 and 3 years in a more intense and may worsen at night. Call your doctor if you notice a high pitched breathing sound (called stridor) when your child breathes or if your child has trouble breathing.

What should I do if my child has croup?

Most children who have a mild case of croup can be treated at home. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. When your child has a croupy cough is very important to increase the amount of liquid you drink. Not recommended for cough medicines, especially for children under 2 years. You could give your child acetaminophen (brand names: Children’s Tylenol, Infants’ Tylenol) for chest discomfort or discomfort caused by fever.

The moist air seems to help children with croup breathe more easily. This is called steam treatment. You can give your child a mist treatment at home:

  • Using a humidifier in your child’s room.
  • Having your child breathe through a warm, wet towel placed over the nose and mouth.
  • Flushing your hot water shower with the bathroom door closed. Once the bath is full of steam or been tarnished, sit with your child in the room for about 10 minutes.

It is possible that the cold air also help reduce swelling in the airways of your child. In colder months, you may take your child out for a few minutes to bring some relief.

What if home treatment does not work?

Most children with croup get better with home treatment. However, if the symptoms of croup of your child are severe or do not seem to be responding to home treatment, call your doctor.Your doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce the swelling of the airways in your child.

When should I call the doctor?

Pay special attention to your child and call your doctor if:

  • Your child makes a high pitched sound (stridor) when inhaling noisy.
  • Your child starts drooling or has trouble swallowing.
  • The lips and skin around the nose, mouth or your child’s fingernails are made of blue or darker.
  • Your child’s breathing can be heard better after the steam treatment.
  • Your child is very moody, irritable or constantly uncomfortable.
  • Your child has trouble breathing.
  • Your child seems to feel worse.

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