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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Treating croup in your toddler

Midget Gem, the king of all snot related disease, has croup! 

He's had a cold for a week or so - which isn't unusual for him - I think he's had around three days without a snotty face since he was born. 

Last night he woke coughing - at least I think he was coughing - judging by the sound of him he MAY just have smuggled a seal into his bed and was clubbing it to death. Hard to tell.

Oh no - not all THAT hard - at least not when he coughed so much he puked all over my lap. That is NOT fun at midnight in a house with no heating, let me tell you! 

So this morning we popped to the GP and she gave him a lot of pokes, prods, tickles and listens and settled on the diagnosis of croup. AKA a nasty virus which has made him chesty and throaty. 



Croup isn't just one simple condition - according to her and my googling - it's the name given to a few different things which result in the same narrowing of the upper airways which makes breathing harder and the cough worse - which leads to the familiar barking sound. 

If you've never heard croup it sounds like this http://assets.babycenter.com/ims/Symptom-Guide/Croup.mp3 (thank you Babycentre, once again) that isn't Midget Gem but it sounds EXACTLY like he sounds. There's also a nice wheezy noise when he breathes in which is pretty scary. 

The GP said she wouldn't recommend anti biotics (unless it gets very bad in which case maybe!) and gave me some advice. 

Her advice and my googling have given me my course of action; if you ever have a small one with croup here are my top tips to get through it. 

The cough is worse at night than in the daytime - but after his nap he was bad again so I took action!

First of all - ease the breathing; steam is good here. Take the small person in the bath, or sit in the bathroom with the shower running (I did that this afternoon and we drew things on the steamed up mirror and blew bubbles). 

I put olbas oil on EVERYTHING. The house stinks of it but it helps - and at least it smells NICE - he takes big deep sniffs and loves it - they both love it actually, call it magic potion. 



I got some vapo rub and have applied liberally front and back (and to his feet - I can't understand how this might help but twitter says it does and twitter wouldn't lie, right?!).

For bed I hid his dummy so he wouldn't be stuck breathing through a snotty bunged up nose and have given him extra pillows so he's sleeping propped more upright. 

When he cries his breathing gets more laboured (and a big bout of cough makes him cry, then he can't catch his breath which is scary, so he cries more) so I have been distracting, soothing, cuddling, holding, singing, and calming - the less he cries the better it is. 

He's been guzzling warm orange squash all day and I've kept him topped up with calpol (per the correct advised amounts of course) to keep his temp down. 

These are all my top tips for treating croup - if your child seems to be getting worse don't just slap around more olbas oil, give the doctor a ring or, if their breathing is really laboured, 999 and off to A&E as they might need some corticosteroids or adrenaline to ease their symptoms. This advice is only for mild croup and my GP will keep an eye on him - if he gets worse or no better in a few days we'll be right back there! 

In the meantime, Dr Ranj and Get Well Soon are helping! 

15 comments:

  1. we found a steamy environment helped my son. run a shower in a bathroom with the door shut, or boil a kettle in a small room.

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    1. Steam has definitely been the best thing for it - he can breathe much better after some steaming

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  2. Hope he gets better very soon x

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  3. Aw, croup is horrible and scary if you haven't heard it before. The vaporub on the base of your feet REALLY does help, in children and adults. I don't know why either, it's one of those weird things that is to do with lines through your body and getting your bumps read and all that stuff people have done forever but forgotten why!
    Hope he feels much better very soon x

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    1. Magical vapo rub voodoo - plus who doesn't like a footrub!?

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  4. Wow and you thought of all that by yourself!!!

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    1. I totally did - apart from that part where I said this is what the doctor said, and some info I read after googling...

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  5. Im really impressed, it looks like it could have been written by an health care professional. Well done you on all of your hard work !!

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  6. Don't what all that's about ^ but thought I'd pop on to wish the little lad healthy again, and sympathise. My little boy is usually sick when he coughs at night, but I found restricting all dairy for the couple of hours before he went to bed (swapping water for milk, for example - though it sounds like your wee one is having juice so it isn't so much of a problem) really helped, and lying a soft thick puke/pee sheet I got from Boots under him wherever he lay helped with the cleaning up. It's big, soft, warm-but-not-too-warm, and is meant for toilet training but does the job for puke too. Best of luck - this too shall pass!

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    1. I've done a lot of laundry but today his cough seems to be better - less barky, more phleghmy - fingers crossed it's passing relatively quickly - good tip with dairy though, I always forget it can make them so mucusy!

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  7. I would like my 2 previous comments deleting please. Thankyou.

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  8. I hope he's back to his usual self soon. Having had a child with croup this all sounds like perfect advice to me xx

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    1. It helps me to remember what to do and to know I'm actively doing SOMETHING to help when I write it all out - it makes you feel so useless when they get ill doesn't it!

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  9. Glad to see a post on this - croup is horrid and very scary at times. We didn't realise my daughter had it until we found ourselves in an ambulance! Mostly I think it is pretty mild but it is one of those things that comes on at the end of another illness that I'd wished I'd known about. Hers developed after a week of a flu type thing and we thought she was finally on the mend so ventured out on an errand. Took her out in the cold and within ten minutes she was gasping for breath, sick and going floppy. In our case, I had a blue inhaler and child spacer at home from earlier chest infection which revived her until the paramedics got there, along with sitting in the bathroom with the shower turned on hot to make lots of steam. Was very scary though! Hospital gave her an oral steroid to reduce the inflammation and told us to stay in the warm until she was better and the good news is that croup is only at it's worst normally for 24-48 hours before a bit of relief should set in. Olbas and a humidifier for her room help loads with these kind of bugs.

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