Does your toddler often wake up in the middle of the night due to sleep difficulty? Does he have a severe cough, where the cough almost sounds like a bark? If this is a recurring issue, then you should seek medical attention immediately, he may have Croup. Read this post to learn how Croup can affect toddlers and what you do to prevent it.
What Is Croup In Toddlers?
Croup is a very common respiratory difficulty that occurs in young children, particularly in toddlers. It usually occurs during the winters. The first indicator of croup is the harsh cough that may sound similar to a dog’s barking. This respiratory problem causes swelling, and it also leads to narrowing of the voice box, the breathing tubes, and the windpipe making it difficult for your toddler to breathe.
Croup causes inflammation in the upper airways — the larynx and trachea. It intensifies when your toddler cries. So you need to make your toddler extra happy when he has croup. A croup attack can be quite scary; however, it doesn’t get very serious in most cases. Usually, children who suffer from croup recover with a few days of proper rest and monitoring at home. With age, the windpipe and lungs also mature, which is why children older than three don’t usually contract croup.
Causes Of Croup In Toddlers:
Mostly, viruses that cause common cold also cause croup. Croup is contagious, and the virus spreads when the infected person coughs or sneezes. Your toddler can also acquire croup with close contact.
Train your toddler to wash his hands regularly and limit his contact with people who are suffering from cold, cough, fever and croup.
[ Read: Home Remedies To Treat Cough In Children ]
Types Of Croup:
Croup is of two types, depending on the cause:
- Viral Croup:
Viral croup is the prevalent type of croup in children. Viral infections in the upper respiratory tract can lead to viral croup. Many cases of viral croup tend to be mild, and your toddler can get better at home.
- Spasmodic Croup:
The other type of croup, spasmodic croup develops quickly and affects toddlers with mild cold. Your toddler may have a hoarse cough, which almost sounds like a bark and no fever. Spasmodic croup may be recurrent.
[ Read: Common Allergies In Toddlers ]
Symptoms Of Croup In Toddlers:
Croup can manifest itself in many ways, but some common croup symptoms in toddlers may include:
- A barking cough, which intensifies at night. The cough sounds like a barking seal.
- A hoarse tone.
- Harsh, crowing sound when breathing in. If your toddler breathes too fast or he needs to sit up so that he can breathe better.
- Toddlers sometimes cry a lot due to croup, and you need to pacify them, as crying can aggravate the symptoms.
- In case his breathing is too noisy, make sure his back is straight.
- If his skin turns blue, or he doesn’t respond to your gestures, treat it as an emergency and seek immediate medical aid.
The symptoms of croup usually seem to improve during the day, and they get worse during the night. Kids battling croup may have attacks that disturb their sleep in the night. Croup usually improves in just two to 5 days.
If the symptoms are insistent, or your toddler has a fever, seek medical aid immediately.
Treatment and Prevention:
You probably won’t need to take your toddler to the hospital. If he is too ill, your pediatrician might prescribe some OTC medicines.
General treatment for croup in toddlers includes:
- Timely supervision of the child’s breathing and administering one dose of oral dexamethasone, which is a corticosteroid.
- Steroids help in reducing swelling, and once the swelling is relieved, the child’s breathing eases back to normal.
- Consider vaccinating your toddler for the flu every year. It could help successfully battle some of the viruses that potentially lead to croup.
[ Read: Pneumonia In Toddlers ]
Has your child suffered from croup? How did you cope with it? Tell other moms below. Leave a comment.
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