What is croup?
Croup is a swelling of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea). Croup can be caused by allergic reactions, bacteria, or breathed in irritants, but it’s typically the result of a virus.
Most of the time, the perpetrator is the parainfluenza virus, but other viruses– breathing syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus, influenza, and measles, for instance– can also trigger croup.
Croup is most typical in children in between the ages of 3 months and 5 years, although a child can get croup at any age. The illness shows up most regularly in the colder months– in between October and March. A lot of cases of croup today are not serious, but a severe case can need hospitalization.
What Are the Symptoms of Croup in Infants Under 6 Months?
Since croup swells the throat and voice box, it changes the noise of your child’s cough If your child has an extremely hoarse, deep cough that sounds like a barking seal, it’s most likely croup. In reality, this cough is so distinctive that your doctor can probably tell you whether it’s croup just by hearing your child over the phone.
Croup typically appears after several days of cold symptoms and usually becomes worse at night. As it continues, your child may have labored breathing or stridor, a high-pitched squawking or crowing noise when he breathes in. He may likewise have a hoarse voice and run a low fever.
Croup is frequently worst the first two or three nights, and it typically goes away in a week approximately.
Is croup hazardous?
Not as hazardous as it when was. Today, the vaccines for measles, Haemophilus influenzae (Hib), and diphtheria protect children versus a few of the more harmful types of croup. A lot of cases nowadays are moderate and disappear within a week with no problems. If your child has a severe case of croup, nevertheless, it can result in serious breathing difficulties.
When should I call the doctor?
Call the doctor right away if you presume that your child has croup. He’ll probably ask you particular concerns about your child’s cough and breathing, so keep your child nearby while you’re on the phone.
If your child has labored breathing or stridor when she’s resting, take her to the health center. While these symptoms can be part of a coughing fit, their look when your child is resting might mean that she has severe, potentially lethal swelling in her throat.
Obviously, if your child appears to be having a hard time for breath and drooling, or her lips or skin are turning blue, call 911 right away.
Learn more about when to call 911.
How do you Treat Croup in Infants Under 6 Months?
If this is your child’s first bout of croup and the doctor determines that he has a moderate case, you should have the ability to treat him at home.
Moist or cold air seems to reduce the swelling of the respiratory tracts, so it might be handy to take your child into a steamy bathroom (turn on the hot water in the shower or bathtub and close the bathroom door) or out into the cold night air for 15 to 20 minutes. Sitting directly or standing will assist him breathe more quickly. If your child is too young to sit up straight or stand, try holding him upright.
The steamy bathroom treatment may help, but it won’t make the cough go away completely. You might have to repeat the routine each time your infant wakes up coughing during the night.
A cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room can assist you keep a humid environment. (Clean the humidifier daily with a bleach-and-water option to ward off the growth of mold and bacteria.) Also make sure your child is getting plenty of fluids.
If your child is more than a year old, you can try elevating his head a bit while he sleeps, to help ease his cough. (Don’t use pillows with babies, as this enhances the risk of SIDS.) You might also want to sleep in the same room with your child while he has croup, so you’ll observe whether he establishes any difficulty breathing.
If your child has a fever and is uneasy, you may wish to offer him acetaminophen or, if he’s 6 months or older, ibuprofen. (Never ever offer a child aspirin, which can set off an unusual but potentially deadly disease called Reye’s syndrome in children with a virus.) If your child is younger than 3 months old, talk with his doctor before offering him any medication, even non-prescription solutions.
Don’t offer your child cough medication. It won’t have any effect on the swelling in his throat, and it can make it harder for him to spend mucus. Antibiotics won’t help, either, considering that a virus is probably the offender, not bacteria.
If the steamy bathroom and cold air techniques do not provide any relief, the doctor might recommend oral steroids to minimize the swelling and help your child breathe more quickly. Oral steroids were previously used mainly for children with moderate or severe croup, however current research suggests they may be worthwhile even in milder cases.
If your child has a severe case of croup that needs hospitalization, he may be given oxygen, a breathed in medication, or steroids to help reduce the swelling of his air passages. He may also be provided intravenous fluids to fight dehydration.
Can my child get croup once again?
Yes. In truth, some children appear to be more prone to obtaining croup than others till their airways grow bigger. If your child gets croup a second time, attempt the at-home therapy immediately. And do not be reluctant to call your doctor, even if the previous episode was moderate. Each bout of croup is different– some more major or requiring more aggressive treatment than others.
Is croup contagious?
Unless your child’s croup is the outcome of allergies or irritants, the virus that’s triggering it is contagious, so keep your child home till she’s devoid of symptoms.
How can I prevent my child from getting croup?
Just like many illnesses, your first line of defense is regular hand cleaning with soap and water. When possible, keep your child far from anyone who has a respiratory infection. And be sure to obtain any child older than 6 months vaccinated every year against the flu.