Can I Treat Croup At Home
In most cases, a childs mild croup symptoms can be turned around with simple home remedies.
Dr. Hughes suggests the following:
- Use a cool mist humidifier.
- Take the child into a steamed bathroom.
- Take the child outside into cool, moist, night air.
- Encourage the child to drink lots of fluids.
- Treat a fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as instructed by your childs provider.
- Engage the child in a calming activity to keep them as quiet and calm as possible, which will make it easier for them to breathe.
- Stay in close proximity to the ill child at nighttime to immediately assist the child if they begin to have difficulty breathing.
Who Does Croup Affect
Younger children are more affected by croup because their airways are smaller. A small amount of swelling in a narrow airway can make it hard to breathe, compared to a small amount of swelling in a wider airway, which may be only a minor irritation with no breathing problems.
Croup is most commonly seen in:
- Children 6 months to 3 years old
- The fall and winter months
Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your childs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
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The Moral Of The Morsel
- If you are taking care of a child who is presenting with what appears to be croup, but this marks the 3rd or greater occurrence of it, then you are dealing with Recurrent Croup.
- Recurrent Croup should be considered a RED FLAG for something that isnt as simple as a viral illness .
- Anatomic abnormalities have been reported in a significant proportion of patients with recurrent croup.
- Have a lower threshold for checking plain films for possible foreign bodies.
- Most, if not all, of these patients will require bronchoscopy by ENT to rule out anatomic abnormalities.
Allergies And Asthma With Croupy Cough
As your body overreacts to allergens in your environment, you develop cold-like symptoms, including runny or congested nose, post-nasal drip, sore throat and a deep, barking cough — a cough that sounds like croup. While the coughing is irritating and potentially painful, it serves a purpose as your body tries to get rid of a perceived dangerous invader.
If you also suffer from allergic asthma, which is a chronic lung condition, you are also prone to coughing as your airways tighten up in response to pet dander, dust and pollen in the environment around you.
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When Should I See A Doctor About Croup
Get medical help immediately if:
- your child is less than 6 months old
- your child has noisy breathing when at rest or is breathing more quickly than usual
- the effort of breathing is tiring your child
- your child is having trouble feeding, eating or drinking
- your childs nostrils flare as they breathe
- your child becomes pale or blue after a coughing spell
- you notice your childs neck or breastbone being sucked in when they breathe in
- your child becomes floppy
Diagnosis Of Chronic Variant Asthma
Diagnosis of CVA can be quite challenging as it is usually characterized by a chronic cough. Chronic cough lasts more than four weeks in children and more than eight weeks in adults.
Therefore, one should always consult a doctor if they are experiencing an unexplained persistent cough, though it is wise to keep track of your cough and share the details with your doctor to avoid misdiagnosis.
A spirometry test is used by a healthcare professional to diagnose asthma. This test assesses how well your lungs work. If symptoms and test results are negative for asthma, the next step is a methacholine challenge test.
Ideally, when a person with asthma inhales methacholine, it triggers coughing and bronchial spasms. Therefore, a person with asthma will be more sensitive to methacholine than a healthy person causing lung function to drop during the test.
If a doctor strongly suspects CVA, they may skip the methacholine test and prescribe asthma treatments. Since CVA responds well to asthma treatment, a healthcare provider will be likely to diagnose CVA.You can also get some insights on how to know if you have asthma on our blog.
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Get Help Immediately If Symptoms Become Serious
If the child’s symptoms don’t settle quickly with comforting and once they stop crying, the child needs to be seen by a doctor urgently. In rare cases, a severe croup attack can cause a child to stop breathing.
The symptoms of croup are also similar to those caused by other, much more serious conditions. For example, your child could have epiglottitis .
See a doctor immediately if your child:
- is obviously not well
- has severe coughing bouts and can’t catch their breath when coughing
- is restless, anxious or sweating
- has a bluish tinge to the lips
- experiences ‘caving in’ of the soft tissues of the neck and between the ribs when trying to breathe in.
In these situations, take your child to the nearest children’s hospital or to a hospital where there are doctors with experience in caring for children – urgently.
Signs And Symptoms Of Croup In Children
Infection of the upper airway results in swelling around the vocal cords , windpipe and bronchial tubes . This swelling causes the characteristic low-pitched cough, resembling the bark of a seal.
The cough is often worse at night and gets aggravated by crying as well as anxiety and agitation. The swelling also causes breathing difficulty that may produce a high-pitched whistling sound.
Apart from coughing and labored breathing, it is common to have a fever and a hoarse voice.
Though the symptoms usually resolve within 48 hours, severe upper airway obstruction can, rarely, lead to respiratory failure and arrest.
At the same time, proper healing may take more time.
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Treatments To Improve Breathing
Treatments for croup focus on making your child comfortable and reducing airway swelling to improve breathing. In most cases, you can manage croup at home. Find ways to relax and calm your child, such as reading a book or playing music she likes.
Treatment options include:
- Medicine. Medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can ease pain and reduce a fever. Avoid cough medicines.
- Steroid medicines. Steroids can reduce swelling and improve symptoms. These medicines can be inhaled as a breathing treatment or taken by mouth or by injection.
- Breathe cool mist. Run a humidifier in your childs bedroom, have her sit in a steamy bathroom, or expose her to cool outside air to make breathing easier.
- Antibiotic medicine. If your childs croup is bacterial, antibiotics can help fight the infection.
- Hospital care. If your child struggles to breathe or becomes dehydrated, emergency or inpatient care may be needed. Medicines and treatments may include
- An oxygen tent placed over a crib
- Breathing medicines given with a nebulizer machine
- Steroid medicines given through a vein
- Fluids to treat dehydration, given through a vein
- Antibiotics given through a vein
Study Population And Design
The National Health Insurance program of Taiwan is a mandatory social insurance system. This single-payer program was launched on March 1, 1995, covering most of the residents Taiwan. By 2007, approximately 22.60 million of Taiwan’s 22.96 million residents enrolled in this program. Foreigners living in Taiwan are also eligible for the program. The program provides health care services for illness, injury, and maternity. The Longitudinal Health Insurance Database contains registration files and original reimbursement claims data for 1 million selected beneficiaries of the NHI program. The Taiwanese Bureau of National Health Insurance Administration collects these data, including International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes, from the NHI program and sorts them into files these are provided to scientists for research purposes. Because the LHID constitutes de-identified secondary dataset that were analyzed anonymously, the need for informed consent of the study was waived.
Data regarding the study population were extracted from the Taiwan LHID2005, which contains all original claims data of 1 million patients who were randomly sampled from the 25.56 million insurants in the 2005 registry of the NHI Research Database thus, the LHID2005 is a large and reliable database, and numerous studies using LHID2005 data have been published in peer-reviewed journals.
What’s The Risk Of Getting Asthma For Children Who Cough And Wheeze
Babies and children who often have viral wheeze, hay fever, croup or bronchiolitis may be more likely to develop asthma in the future. Its not always clear why this is, and more research is needed to explain the link, but it’s thought that:
- some childrens immune systems are sensitive to pollen, and other allergies, and they go on to develop asthma as part of this
- viral infections like bronchiolitis may share factors that make both bronchiolitis and asthma more likely such as family history or living conditions.
If your doctor does think your child has asthma, you can feel reassured that asthma treatments can make a real difference to your childs symptoms.
Diagnosis And When To See A Doctor
Diagnosing asthma in babies can be challenging. A doctor cannot use the typical lung function tests because babies cannot exhale or inhale on command.
As a result, doctors do not typically diagnose asthma in babies. If a baby has asthma-like symptoms, the doctor may diagnose reactive airway disease and confirm an asthma diagnosis when the child is older and if the symptoms persist.
To check for the issue in a baby, a doctor may:
- Give medications to open the airways and see whether the symptoms improve.
- Give allergy tests to check for sensitivities to common triggers, such as dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen in an older baby or toddler.
- Order imaging studies, such as X-rays, to examine the lungs.
They may also make a referral to an allergy or lung specialist for further testing and treatment.
Asthma is a chronic condition with no cure. However, many babies with asthma-like symptoms, such as wheezing, do not go on to have asthma later in life.
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Who Is Most Prone To Croup
The condition affects mainly children younger than five years old. Babies and toddlers are susceptible because they have small, soft windpipes. As their bodies get stronger, they are less likely to contract croup.
Children with asthma, allergies or other respiratory illnesses are at greater risk of suffering a form of the condition called spasmodic croup, which can come on suddenly, with few or no warning signs like cold symptoms or fever.
While older children and adults can get the same virus that causes croup, its likely they will only get cold or flu symptoms. One in every 50 to 100 babies will get croup before they turn one year old.
Are Croup And Asthma Related
Children with a history of croup have a high risk of asthma. Furthermore, children with croup living in urban areas, of the male sex, or aged 7 to 9 years have an increased risk of asthma. Parents must be educated that all children with croup should be monitored for asthma development for at least the first 3 years.
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Is Your Childs Cough Or Wheeze Because Of Asthma
Coughing and wheezing are both quite common in babies and young children. Usually theyre due to a virus such as a cold.
But how can you tell if its their asthma, or if theyre coughing and wheezing because of a cold or virus theyve picked up?
Coughing or wheezing is more likely to be your childs asthma if:
- theyre coughing or wheezing more at night or early in the morning
- their cough or wheeze wont go away or keeps coming back
- they wheeze without other cold symptoms
- they have a dry cough
- they cough or wheeze after running around, laughing or being in the cold
- they have other symptoms too, such as breathlessness, a tight chest or a tummy ache
- they cough or wheeze more when they come into contact with triggers like pollen, dust mites, pets, or pollution.
Your child’s reliever
If your child is using their reliever inhaler three or more times a week, see their GP or asthma nurse. It’s a sign that their asthma is getting worse.
Not yet diagnosed? Coughing and wheezing are typical symptoms of asthma, and often the first one parents notice. Find out more about how asthma is diagnosed.
Will My Child Get Asthma After Having Croup
Many parents of youngsters with croup worry their child will be predisposed to asthma later in life. Studies have shown that children with recurrent croup, or those between the ages of 7 and 9, have a higher instance of developing asthma than children in other age groups. One study said children with croup should be closely monitored for asthma development for at least 3 years.
If your child had croup and you are worried they may have asthma, our board-certified physicians can help treat him or her with the latest advances in medical technology. To speak to a medical professional about asthma and allergies, contact us today.
Does your child need an asthma screening? To help you and your little one breathe easier, contact the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia today at 994-3574 or book a same-day appointment online! Se habla español.
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How To Manage Your Childs Cough And Wheeze
“Try to get familiar with your childs usual asthma symptoms and when they get them, like at night, or if theyve been running outside in the cold. Then youll be more able to recognise times when its their asthma or not”, says respiratory nurse specialist Debby Waddell.
Manage your childs cough and wheeze by:
- making sure they take their asthma medicines every day as prescribed and watching while your child uses their inhalers so you can be sure they’re getting the medicine they need
- asking your childs GP or asthma nurse to show you the best way to use their inhalers or watching our inhaler technique videos
- tracking your childs cough and wheeze, and any other symptoms, on a symptom calendar, so you can see when theyre coughing, how often, and what else was going on at the time
- using an asthma action plan so you know what to do if their asthma symptoms get worse.
Why Does It Happen
When you breathe, air passes through the voice box and windpipe into the lungs. In croup, the voice box and windpipe become inflamed and narrowed because of swelling of the lining and increased phlegm. This blockage causes the windpipe to partly collapse – like when you suck hard on a blocked straw. Young children who have small soft windpipes have the most difficulty. The size and strength of the windpipe increases as children grow up which is why croup is less common in older children.
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Home Remedies For Croup In Children
Croup is a common respiratory problem often observed in children. Though croup typically occurs in younger children, it is not usually a serious issue.
A 2004 study published in the American Family Physician reports that viral croup affects children six months to 12 years of age, with a peak incidence at two years of age. Also, boys are more prone to this disease as compared to girls.
Croup can occur throughout the year, but mostly it predominates during the fall and winter months.
What Are The Symptoms Of Croup
At first, a child may have cold symptoms, like a stuffy or runny nose and a fever. As the upper airways the voice box and windpipe become irritated and swollen, a child may become hoarse and have the barking cough.
If the airways continue to swell, breathing gets harder. Kids often make a high-pitched or squeaking noise while breathing in this is called stridor. They also might breathe very fast or have retractions . In the most serious cases, a child may appear pale or have a bluish color around the mouth due to a lack of oxygen.
Symptoms of croup are often worse at night and when a child is upset or crying.
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