About croup

What is croup?

Croup is a common childhood illness that causes swelling of the upper respiratory tract. This can be recognised by a change in tone of voice and a distinctive "croupy" cough that sounds like a seal or barking. Croup is caused by a variety of viruses, the most common of which is the parainfluenza virus. Infection symptoms include nasal congestion, coughing, sore throat, and fever. Upper airway swelling in children can cause a sore throat or, in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. This type of breathing difficulty causes a high-pitched creaking or whistling sound (dubbed stridor) and a harsh cough resembling a seal's bark when a child inhales. In contrast, wheezing occurs when a child attempts to expel air from his or her lungs. Wheezing is a symptom of asthma, which is a lung disorder, whereas stridor is a symptom of croup, which is an upper airway disorder.

 



What are the symptoms for croup?

Croup symptoms are typically more severe in children under the age of three. Because children's respiratory systems are smaller than adults', they are at a higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms. Croup is distinguished by the following symptoms: Cold symptoms include Sneezing and a runny nose, as well as fever, a barking cough, and hoarse speech. If your child's breathing ability is jeopardised by croup, seek medical attention right away. Consult your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:

When breathing becomes difficult, high-pitched sounds are produced.

Swallowing becomes difficult when the skin around the nose, mouth, and fingernails turns blue or grey.

Croup should be evaluated by a doctor if it lasts more than a week, recurs frequently, or is associated with a Fever of more than 103.5 degrees. To rule out bacterial infections or other more serious conditions, a physical examination is required.

Spasmodic Croup: Some children develop a mild case of croup in conjunction with the common Cold on a recurring basis. This type of croup is distinguished by a Barking Cough but lacks fever.



What are the causes for croup?

Croup is usually caused by a virus, most commonly the parainfluenza virus. The disease is more likely to affect younger children. Your child may inhale the virus if you sneeze or cough in public. Furthermore, the virus may spread through surfaces such as toys. If the child touches a contaminated surface and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth, he or she may come into contact with the virus. The following viruses are among those that can cause it: Enteroviruses, Rhinoviruses, Influenza A and B Viruses, Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Croup can be caused by bacteria in extremely rare cases. This strain of croup is frequently more severe than virus-caused croup. To avoid infection, practise basic hygiene such as hand washing and keep your children away from sick patients. To prevent the spread of the infection, you should never cough in public, but rather in your elbow.



What are the treatments for croup?

Most children with croup can be treated at home. Croup can still be frightening, especially if your child is taken to the doctor, the ER, or the hospital. Treatment is usually determined by how severe the symptoms are. Measures to improve your mood: You should comfort and calm your child to help him or her breathe easier. You can sing lullabies or read quiet stories to your child while holding them to help them fall asleep so they can sleep. They might receive a favourite blanket or toy. Don't be too loud.

Medication;If your child's symptoms do not improve or worsen after three to five days, a doctor may prescribe these medications. To help reduce inflammation in the airways, the doctor may be able to administer a type of steroid (glucocorticoid). When you do something good, you usually see the results for at least an hour or two. A single dose of dexamethasone is usually the best option because it has long-term beneficial effects. This medication is also effective at reducing inflammation in the airways and can be used in conjunction with a nebulizer to treat more severe symptoms. To be brief, it does not last long. In most cases, your child will need to spend a few hours in the hospital before being discharged to determine whether they require another dose.

Hospitalization: If your child has severe croup, he or she may need to be admitted to the hospital for observation and treatment. Changes in lifestyle and at-home remedies: Croup typically clears up in three to five days.

In the meantime, you can keep your child safe and comfortable by doing the following:

Maintain your cool by cuddling, reading a book, or playing a quiet game to divert your child's attention. Crying should be avoided because it may aggravate the breathing difficulty.

While there is no evidence that these practises benefit children, many parents believe that humid or cool air makes it easier for their children to breathe. You can use a humidifier or steam to provide moist air. If the weather permits, open a window and allow your child to take in some fresh air.

Maintain a comfortable upright position for your child - Carry your child or place him or her in a comfortable chair or infant seat. Keeping an upright posture may help with breathing.

Infants can be fed breast milk or formula if fluids are available. Some warm and comforting meals, such as soup, may be beneficial to older children.

Recommend a period of rest- Sleep can help your child's immune system fight infection. Consider taking a fever-reducer. If your child has a fever, nonprescription medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol and other brands) may be helpful.

Over-the-counter cold medications are not recommended for children of any age and can be dangerous for children under the age of two. Furthermore, over-the-counter cough suppressants are ineffective against croup.



What are the risk factors for croup?

Croup is most likely to affect children aged 6 months to 3 years. Because children have smaller airways than adults, they are more likely to experience severe croup symptoms. The symptoms are exacerbated by the smaller airways. People with a history of the disease, who live in a densely populated area, who travel to or from developing countries, and who do not have an influenza vaccine. Some people suffer from severe croup. Croup is usually not too serious. It is difficult to breathe in a small number of children because their airways become too large. It is not always possible for bacteria to re-infect the trachea. This can make it difficult to breathe and necessitate emergency medical assistance. Only a few children are hospitalised as a result of croup.

 



Is there a cure/medications for croup?

Dexamethasone is commonly used to treat croup, but it is not the only medication that can help. It is a glucocorticoid that has a long half-life and is very effective at what it does. It usually reduces laryngeal swelling within six hours of taking the first dose, but it can take longer. Children with moderate or severe croup are given an epinephrine mist, also known as adrenaline. This medication significantly reduces the swelling of the airways. It also begins to work much faster than dexamethasone. It took less than two hours. People who are in a lot of pain should take it every 15 to 20 minutes, and those who are in a lot of pain should take it every few minutes. For example, if you begin to feel ill again after two hours, you should consult your doctor. Feeling "rebound" symptoms is common in the first two to four hours following a treatment, but it can occur at any time. Croup can be treated with urgent care or in the emergency room, depending on how severe his or her breathing is. When their child only has a croupy cough, parents may only need to give their child reassurance and guidance.

If the child is alert, has minimal respiratory distress, and is getting enough oxygen, he or she may not require parental assistance. Caregivers may only need to know what they can do to help their loved ones and how they can help their loved ones at home as the disease progresses. Most children with mild croup symptoms can be helped to recover by their parents or caregivers. A cool mist from a humidifier and sitting with the child in a bathroom filled with steam from the shower can help them feel better.



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