Croup is a very common illness that affects children and has the potential to be mild in symptoms or even dangerous to life threatening if it goes untreated. Children from the ages of 6 months to 3 years have a chance of contracting “Croup” on average once or twice and can be linked to other “respiratory illness“. It is always a good measure for Parents and Guardians to take “all” respiratory illness” as serious and seek further medical advice, “We need to breath to live”
Croup is an infection that causes swelling of the voice box “larynx” and windpipe “trachea“, making the airway just below the vocal cords inflamed, swollen and narrow. This makes breathing both noisy and difficult. There are two main types of Croup and as such must be seen as “Infectious”
Different Types of Croup
- Viral Croup – This is the most common type of Croup and is the result of viral infection in the voice box or airway, Temperatures range from low fever to 39C/104F. Often Viral Croup will start with a cold that slowly turns into a “Barking Cough”. The child’s voice will become hoarse with noisy breathing “Stridor”.
“Stridor” is the coarse musical sound that comes with breathing through an inflamed-swollen airway. The danger of “Croup with Stridor sounds” is that the airway is continuing to swell. If this happens it may reach a point when your child cannot breath at all. “Stridor” should always be assessed by a physician to prevent the danger of a closed airway. Stridor is common with mild Croup and increases with activity or crying, however if Stridor persists while the child is resting, it can be a sign of severe Croup and you must seek medical aid. Stridor may also be a sign of a serous breathing problem such as Epiglottitis.
- Spasmodic Croup – This form of Croup is caused by a mild upper respiratory infection or even an “Allergy” normally no fever is present. This is the scariest form of Croup as it has a “sudden” onset and often presents in the middle of the night. The child will go to bed with mild “Cold” like symptoms then wake up gasping for breath with hoarse beathing, a barking cough and “stridor”. As the child’s effort to breath increases their energy levels will decrease, they may even stop eating or drinking and eventually become “too tired to cough“, if this is the case “seek medical attention immediately“
“Always consult a medical professional before treating illness on your own, home made remedies may not have the desired effect and may make the illness-symptoms worse”
- If your child wakes up in the middle of the night with Croup, take them into the bathroom, close the door, then turn on the shower on the hottest setting “Do not put them in the shower“. The “Steam” from the shower is what you need for over 15-20 minutes, this will help ease the symptoms as you sit in the bathroom with the child. “The child will still have the barking cough though”,
- For the rest of the night “and 2 to 3 nights after“, try to use a “cold” water vaporizer or humidifier in your child’s room. Your child may have another attack of Croup even within the same night, if they do repeat the shower steam treatment. Steam almost always works, if it does not, try fresh night air and open up the window of their room “wide“. If the child still persists with coarse hoarse breaths and Strider contact your local Medical Professional.
“In Alberta Canada you can contact “811” to contact the Alberta Health Link, a Registered Nurse or Paramedic will help you with treatments and options, they may also refer to you to bring the child into a Hospital for treatment.”
In any emergency just remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!
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