Croup is a respiratory disorder that normally occurs in the children in the age group of one to five. It normally occurs with or after cold or flu or any other viral or bacterial infections of the lungs. Children suffering from bronchitis (a condition where bronchial tube is inflamed) or acute asthma are susceptible to child croup.
What are the symptoms ?
Children suffering from croup coughs loudly that resembles a bark. They run high fever with temperature shooting up to 100 or 101. Croup normally lasts for a three to seven days. The symptoms get worse in the nights and child may have to spend a few sleepless nights. They wake up from sound sleep and cough and get upset and cry. To add to misery, during cough spasm they experience breathlessness and get scared. The best way to deal with it to reassure the child that everything would be fine. More importantly, the parents must also stay calm only then the child would believe that there is nothing to worry. This would help in faster recovery of the child.
Administering Tylenol in right quantity as per prescribed will relieve the child of the discomfort.
The child could be taken out for a walk in open area when there is cool breeze blowing. The moisture in the air will ease breathing problems. Humidifying the air would be helpful. The child could be taken to the bathroom with hot shower and faucets running. Breathing the hot air will provide relief from croup attack. A vaporiser or croup tent could be set up to cause the same effect. Parents can also put the vaporizer under the crib and drape a blanket over the head of the crib or use a card table in place of crib and drape a sheet or blanket to block the moisture from moving around. Even a cold mist vaporizer could be used instead of a hot one. Whatever is used, the parents should ensure that they stay by the side of the child as long as the child is with the vaporizer to avoid the child choking due to blanket falling over the face. Dressing up the child in warm comfortable clothes would help if using cold mist air.
When to visit the doctor ?
- If the child stops breathing
- If the lips and fingernail beds begin to turn blue
- If the cold mist does not relieve from discomfort and child makes strange sounds while inhaling
- The skin around the ribs pulling in while inhaling
- Flared up nostrils
- Child gasping for breath and unable to walk or talk
- Child not comfortable even after twenty minutes of steam or cold mist
- Child goes hysterical and looks worse than earlier
- No change in intensity of cough even after three days