Croup is a moderately frequent illness in children that causes a croupy cough, voice changes, and edema in the upper airway. Fever, sore throat, cough, and nasal congestion are common symptoms of the virus.
When a child’s upper airway becomes bloated, it can cause difficulty breathing, resulting in a whistling or high-pitched cracking sound when the child inhales (stridor). It also leads to a severe cough that sounds like a seal’s bark.
It’s vital to recognize that wheezing can develop when a youngster has trouble breathing air out of their lungs, as in asthma. Stridor occurs only in croup and is because of upper airway obstruction. This blog will guide you through a comprehensive rundown on croup and how you can treat and manage it effectively.
Causes of Croup
Croup is a viral infection caused by several different viruses, Para influenza being the most common one. Several other viruses, such as a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Adenovirus (the virus that causes the common cold), can also cause croup.
Bacterial infections, inhalation irritants, and allergies can also contribute to croup and aggravate the situations, but these are uncommon.
Symptoms of Croup
Children under three experience the most severe symptoms. It’s because they have a smaller respiratory system than that of an adult. The following are the most symptoms of symptoms:
- Hoarse voice
- Heavy breathing
- Barking cough
- Low oxygen levels
- Eye redness
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Runny nose
If not treated promptly, it can even threaten your child’s breathing capacity. It can suffocate them. Therefore seek medical help immediately. Following are the symptoms that indicate an emergency and that you must visit your doctor as soon as possible.
- Grey or blue colored patches around the fingernails, mouth, and nose
- Ribs and the chest area around the collarbone pull in (retraction) when the child breathes
- Child starts drooling
- Very high temperature (above 103 degrees)
- Difficulty swallowing
- High-pitched breathing sound
Croup might reoccur when accompanied by a fever higher than 103 degrees or lasts longer than a week. You must inform the doctor about the recurrence to ensure they can design the treatment plan accordingly.
Is Croup A Serious Illness?
Most croup cases have minimal symptoms and may merely require parental attention. Hoarseness, stridor, and the odd barking cough are all mild signs that occur exclusively when the youngster is disturbed. In some situations, the symptoms worsen at night, causing sleep disturbances. Most youngsters, however, improve within 3 to 7 days.
Can You Treat Croup At Home?
After consulting a primary care physician, you can treat most cases of minor croup symptoms with easy home treatments. However, consulting a doctor is essential to ensure the condition is not serious. Here are a few ways you can manage croup at home.
- Use a cool-mist humidifier
- Expose your child to the moist, cool night air
- Consume warm liquids, such as herbal tea, to soothe and loosen the mucus
- Encourage them to drink plenty of healthy fluids
- Enjoy frozen treats and cold liquids, such as margaritas and popsicles, to numb the soreness in the throat
- Engage the kid in relaxing activities to make it easier for them to breathe
- Monitor them at night to ensure that immediate help is available if they have trouble breathing.
- Elevate the head of your child when sleeping to ease pressure
- Avoid using essential oils in humidifiers. It may benefit an adult but has shown adverse effects in children
If your child’s breathing becomes a source of concern, don’t delay taking them to one of the best pediatric clinics, as severe croup necessitates immediate medical attention.
Prevention of Croup
The same viruses that cause influenza and the common cold are responsible for the croup in most cases. All of these viruses have almost similar prevention measures. Here’s a list of things you must get your child to practice to prevent the croup
- Washing hands frequently
- Keeping hands and things out of the mouth to keep the throat lubricated
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Avoiding people who are ill
- Encourage your child to sneeze or cough into the elbow to prevent the spread of the disease
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