Croup Symptoms and Treatment
Apr 12, · Croup can be frightening for your child. Crying will make the stridor sound much worse. It is important to keep your child relaxed by cuddling and staying calm. Sit baby upright in your lap, play soft music, sing lullabies, read a story. Oct 01, · Final Thoughts on Croup Cough. A barking, seal-like cough is one of the most telltale signs of a croup infection. Croup mainly occurs in very young children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of croup is by frequent hand washing and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Croup is an illness that is usually caused by a virus. The tissues of the windpipe trachea and voice box larynx become swollen. The swelling narrows the trachea, which makes it harder for air to get into the lungs.
Croup occurs how to do a bun bow often during the fall and winter seasons, but it can occur year round. It usually affects children 3 months to 5 years of age. Croup is contagious can be spread to others. A child can get croup more than once. At first, your child may have a stuffy or runny nose and may have a low fever. As the swelling gets what to do for croupe, he or she will get a barky cough and his voice may sound hoarse.
What to do for croupe your child breathes in, you may hear a "crowing" or a high-pitched squeaking sound, called stridor. He may also breathe very fast or have retractions. Your child may become frightened or upset. There is no medicine that will get rid of the virus, but you can do some things to help your child breathe easier until the infection goes away. Follow the dosing directions for your child.
If your child goes to the hospital or to urgent care, he may be given a steroid treatment and watched for a few hours to see if his breathing improves. Steroids help reduce the swelling and thus make breathing easier. Croup PDF. Skip to Content. Urgent Care. In This Section. Conditions We Treat Croup. What You will Hear and See At first, your child may have a stuffy or runny nose and may have a low fever. What to do There is no medicine that will get rid of the virus, but you can do some things to help your child what to do for croupe easier until the infection goes away.
Stay calm and try to keep your child calm. Crying and tension can trigger coughing. Offer fluids to keep him hydrated. Have him breathe in cool night air dress appropriately or humidified air. Avoid exposing your child to tobacco smoke or other irritants. Avoid over-the-counter cough medicines. They do not help and what are needle nose pliers cause harm. Since croup is a viral illness, antibiotics would be ineffective and are unnecessary.
When to Call the Doctor Call how to write a swot analysis on a company doctor if your child: Gets worse Has stridor constantly when resting Is less than 1 year old with stridor or a croupy cough Seems to not be able to catch his breath Cannot speak because breathing is so difficult Drools and cannot swallow his saliva Has trouble swallowing liquids and refuses to drink Skin is blue around the mouth or fingernails during coughing Has nonstop coughing Has retractions after each breath and his chest hurts Is very tired and difficult to wake Croup cough lasts more than 10 days If you have any questions, please call your health provider.
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Medically reviewed by Drugs. Last updated on July 6, Croup is a common respiratory illness in children that causes a change in breathing with a hoarse voice and a brassy, barking cough. Doctors sometimes call croup laryngotracheitis because it usually involves inflammation of the larynx voice box and trachea windpipe. Infectious Croup Infectious croup is caused by an infection with a virus, bacterium or other germ.
In the United States, most cases of croup are caused by a virus. These infections usually occur in the fall and winter when people spend more time indoors. Under these conditions, the virus spreads easily through coughing and sneezing. It also can travel on dirty hands and on things that have had contact with fluids from a sick person's nose or mouth.
These include used tissues, toys, drinking glasses and eating utensils. Once the virus enters the body, it usually begins to attack the upper parts of the breathing system. For this reason, a child with croup may first complain of cold symptoms. These may include a runny nose or nasal congestion. The child also may have a low-grade fever or a mild sore throat. Later, the virus spreads farther down the throat.
The linings of the voice box and windpipe become red, swollen, narrowed and irritated. This triggers hoarseness, a barking cough, and loud, raspy breathing stridor. Spasmodic Croup Spasmodic croup is very similar to infectious croup. It can be triggered by infection, but it isn't caused by infection.
It tends to run in families, and may be triggered by an allergic reaction. Spasmodic croup tends to come on suddenly, without fever. Sometimes it can be hard to tell spasmodic croup from infectious croup.
Infectious croup is most common in children younger than age six. Spasmodic croup usually affects children who are between three months and three years old. Before the age of three months, a child's risk of either type of croup is fairly low. The classic symptom of croup is a harsh, brassy cough that sounds like a seal's bark. This cough is often worse at night.
And it usually occurs with hoarseness and loud, raspy breathing. Children with infectious croup often have a low-grade fever and mild cold symptoms before a cough begins.
In many cases, the sick child also has a history of being exposed to a family member, friend or classmate with a cough, runny nose or other signs of a respiratory infection. Most children with infectious croup are mildly ill and do not develop significant breathing problems.
A child with spasmodic croup often looks fairly healthy before coughing starts. Episodes of cough and loud, raspy breathing generally start without warning. They typically occur in the middle of the night. These symptoms often will pass if the child is carried into cool night air or taken into a steamy bathroom.
Symptoms from spasmodic croup usually improve within a few hours. However, it is common for the symptoms to reappear several nights in a row. The doctor will review your child's symptoms. He or she will ask whether your child has been exposed to anyone with a cough or cold. The doctor also will review your child's immunizations for Haemophilus influenzae. Without these immunizations, this bacterium can cause epiglottitis. Epiglottis is a potentially life-threatening infection that can suddenly block the windpipe.
Symptoms of epiglottitis can be similar to those of croup. Usually, your child's doctor can diagnose croup based on your child's history, symptoms and a physical examination. If your child's symptoms are severe or unusual, X-rays or other tests may be needed. These tests will check for more severe illnesses of the lungs or throat, including epiglottitis. Symptoms of infectious croup usually go away within three to five days.
However, some children have a mild cough that lasts a bit longer. Your doctor probably will recommend actions to make breathing easier until the infection goes away. Most children with croup have mild forms of the illness that can be treated at home. In particular, spasmodic croup often improves dramatically with only a cool mist vaporizer. In rare cases, a child with croup can develop severe breathing problems that must be treated in a hospital.
There, the child can receive oxygen, epinephrine a drug that opens the airways , corticosteroids and other measures to aid breathing. If your child appears to have severe breathing problems, either call for emergency help immediately, or take your child to an emergency room.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. Croup Medically reviewed by Drugs. Croup often is divided into two broad categories: Infectious croup Spasmodic croup Infectious Croup Infectious croup is caused by an infection with a virus, bacterium or other germ. Symptoms The classic symptom of croup is a harsh, brassy cough that sounds like a seal's bark. Other symptoms vary, depending on whether the illness is infectious croup or spasmodic croup.
Infectious Croup Children with infectious croup often have a low-grade fever and mild cold symptoms before a cough begins. Among the few who do develop more severe forms of the illness, symptoms can include: Breathing faster than normal Having difficulty breathing Flaring nostrils An abnormal sucking in of the chest and abdominal muscles retractions as the child struggles to take a breath Unusual restlessness or agitation A bluish color of the skin, especially at the lips and fingernails Spasmodic Croup A child with spasmodic croup often looks fairly healthy before coughing starts.
Diagnosis The doctor will review your child's symptoms. Rarely, when a child has severe breathing difficulties, hospital care is necessary.
Expected Duration Symptoms of infectious croup usually go away within three to five days. Spasmodic croup tends to recur. The period between episodes is very variable. Prevention To help prevent viral infections that can cause croup: Wash your hands frequently, especially after you blow your nose.
Also, wash your hands after you care for someone who has a cough, cold or sore throat. If someone in your household has a respiratory infection, keep his or her eating utensils and drinking glasses separate from those of other family members.
Wash these glasses and utensils thoroughly in hot, soapy water. If a toddler with a respiratory infection has been chewing or sucking on toys, wash these toys with soap and water and then rinse them well. Promptly dispose of dirty tissues from runny noses and sneezes.
Ask anyone with a cough or cold to avoid kissing or playing with your child. Treatment Your doctor probably will recommend actions to make breathing easier until the infection goes away.
These include: Rest or quiet play Ibuprofen Advil , Motrin or acetaminophen Tylenol to relieve any discomfort Drinking plenty of fluids. This will prevent dehydration and help to move mucus out of the airways. A cool mist vaporizer. Cool mist soothes and moistens the inflamed airways and helps mucus drain. In some cases, your doctor also may prescribe corticosteroid drugs to relieve airway inflammation. These include dexamethasone , prednisone or prednisolone. When To Call a Professional If your child appears to have severe breathing problems, either call for emergency help immediately, or take your child to an emergency room.
Some danger signs to watch for include: Labored breathing with flaring nostrils or retractions Blueness of the lips or fingernails Restlessness or confusion Sleepiness or lethargy Severe bouts of coughing that last for more than one minute and interfere with breathing Excessive drooling High fevers Prognosis The majority of children with croup recover fully without complications.