Croup is a fairly common childhood respiratory condition that affects the airways ~ larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), bronchi (airways to the lungs).
They become infected, inflamed & swollen (viral infection or allergic reaction).
There are 2 types:
- Viral Croup ~ Laryngotracheitis
- Spasmodic Croup ~ Repeated short lasting episodes of croup that can be caused by allergic reactions.
- Around 3% of children get croup each year, usually during autumn and winter.
- Children aged from 6 months to 3 years old are most likely to get croup, but older children can be affected.
- Most croup cases are caused by a parainfluenza virus, the disease is transmitted by airborne droplets from an infected child’s cough
Signs & Symptoms ~
- Distinctive barking cough
- Harsh, rasping sound when breathing called stridor
- Children can get distressed due to noise and struggling to breath.
DO NOT PUT FINGERS DOWN THROAT TO INSPECT AS THIS CAN CAUSE THE EPIGLOTTIS TO SWELL AND BLOCK THE AIRWAY!!!!!
- When you observe these symptoms, sit the baby or child up and create a steamy atmosphere by boiling a kettle or running a bath.
- Encourage the baby or child to relax enough to breathe in the steam, and if the symptoms continue seek medical advice.