As the winter season approaches many babies and young children will become sick. This is simply a by-product of the weather and the fact that people tend to stay in close quarters and indoors so the germs are more present. The croup is a common childhood illness and can become severe if not properly watched and treated. Here are some things that you should know about the croup.
1. Croup Is Most Common In Younger Children
Generally the croup does not affect older children. Instead, it is more common in babies and toddlers. This is because young children have undeveloped immune systems and their lungs are not as strong. What happens is that the child will get a cold, and instead of safely passing the cold, the infection will pass to their lungs, becoming more severe and causing them to get a sickness that is worse than just a common winter cold.
2. The Croup Sounds Like A Barking Sound
Many parents wonder what the croup sounds like and how to detect it. The simplest way to diagnose it is to listen to the child's cough. The croup will always have a cough associated with it, so if the child is not coughing, they don't have the croup. But not every cough is the croup. Instead, it will sound like a dry barking or seal bark sounds. It is very harsh and sounds like it is hurting the lungs.
This cough is caused by the child's lungs constricting so harshly that it makes a terrible sound. If or when you take your child to the doctor, they will be able to tell simply by listening to the lungs or even hearing the child cough.
3. The Croup Can Be Treated At Home
In many cases the croup will require no medication, just home treatments. For example, you may be asked to take the child outside in the middle of the night when they have a coughing attack. The cold clear air can help the child's lungs to relax. Also using a cold mist humidifier in the child's room while they sleep will help to heal the lungs. You shouldn't let the child cry it out, seeing as the more coughing the child does, the more likely their lungs are to constrict and compromise breathing. If you are worried about the child breathing, the doctor can give you a steroid that will stimulate the lungs.
By understanding the croup you can protect your child.