This week Little I has been poorly with croup. We are not the only family suffering; the majority of the babies at the school gates have the distinctive barking cough and the mums look bleary eyed from the lack of sleep. Croup is definitely doing the rounds.
So what is croup and what should we do to help our little ones while they are unwell?
What is croup?
Croup is an infection causes the voice box (larynx) to become swollen and the windpipe (trachea) can become blocked. The airways in the lungs (bronchi) can also become inflamed.
What causes it?
Croup is commonly caused by a virus, most often the parainfluenza virus.
How do you catch it?
Croup is spread in a similar way to the common cold so it is very easy to catch. It is most prevalent in the Autumn and early Winter.
Who is at risk?
Croup most commonly affects children aged 6mths to 3yrs with most cases a presenting in 1yr olds. It can sometimes develop in babies as young as 3mths old and older children up to 15yrs. It is rare for an adult to catch it but it is possible!
What are the symptoms?
A harsh, barking cough and a stridor (a harsh sound when they breathe in) are the distinctive symptoms of croup. They may also have a horse throat and find it difficult to breathe.
A GP can usually diagnose croup and it can be treated at home but if your child is having any difficulty breathing take them straight to the closest A&E department for immediate treatment.
How is it treated?
Most mild cases of croup can be treated at home. Keeping your child upright can help the cough and comforting them when they are upset is important as crying can make the symptoms worse. Regularly give your child water to drink as staying hydrated is very important.
A single dose of an oral steroid can be prescribed by your GP to help reduce swelling in the throat.
If your child has any breathing difficulties they need to be taken to hospital immediately to receive treatment, possibly oxygen through a mask or adrenaline.
How long does it last?
Many cases clear up in 48hrs but it can last a couple of weeks.
Can it come back?
Unfortunately yes, children can catch croup more than once.
The information above is from www.nhs.co.uk. I am not a medical professional and the information above should not be substituted for the advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. If you suspect your child has croup take them to your doctor or healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.