The winter months are coming and with little ones life can be hard. The constant sneezes and sniffles seem to roll into one long winter. When you have a young baby, they are so susceptible to getting croup as their immune systems are so immature.
So what exactly is Croup?
Croup is a viral infection that affects the upper airway, causing it to swell. The swelling causes the barking cough, much like the sound of a seal. The croup cough is one of the first telltale signs that the airway is swollen. Your child may also have a noisy breathing (stridor) which can be alarming to parents.
High temperatures are also a common symptom of Croup and can go as high as 40 degrees. It is really important to check your child’s temperature regularly and if you are worried please seek medical help.
Who is most at risk of getting Croup?
Children between the ages of 6 months to 3 years of age are most at risk, but children of any age can get it.
Croup is a strange infection, as your child may be fine in the day with just a snotty nose, but at night time it’s a different story. Once the temperature drops, croup rears it’s ugly head and the barky cough and stridor may be present.
Is Croup dangerous?
Croup can be dangerous, especially in younger children due to the swollen airway. It can be very frightening for the child as well as the parents, so it’s important to stay as calm as you can. If your child sees you panicking then they will panic, causing them to struggle even more.
What can you do to help?
The good thing about croup is that it can be relieved relatively quickly at home. I have had a lot of experience with croup and the first time is always the worst, but you quickly learn what to do.
Take your child outside and let them breathe in the cool air, this will cause the blood vessels to constrict and open up their airway. You will notice after a few minutes that your child will be breathing a lot easier.
Vaporiser’s are a must for any parent with young children as they work wonders. Adding moisture into the air helps your child breathe easier. Puta couple of drops of Eucalyptus essential oil into the vaporiser for the best results.
Your child will probably feeling pretty miserable and hot. Giving the recommended dosage of Paracetamol for your child, will reduce their temperature and give them some relief.
Your child will need a lot of cuddles when they are struggling to breathe, so cuddle away. You will probably find that they will fall asleep in your arms once they are breathing easier.
In conclusion, Croup can be a dangerous infection if not treated properly, so it is important to see your doctor. They may prescribe you steroids to reduce the inflammation if clinically needed, just don’t be alarmed in your child is full of energy after taking them. By keeping your house warm and dry you will reduce the chances of your child getting sick. I always swear by using a dehumidifier in the cold months if your house is damp.
Croup may last between 5-7 days so make sure you look after yourself too.
For more informative pregnancy, birth and baby related articles, read our Maternity Mum blog.