Crup in young children - what we need to know

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Crup in young children - what we need to know
Crup in young children - what we need to know

Some diseases and conditions are characteristic of the childhood period from 6 months to 5 years. They usually grow over time. Doctors advise parents to be more patient and calm, although it is difficult for a parent to watch their child struggle.

Similar is the situation with croup. It is a relatively common condition characteristic of this age. The most frightening thing about him is the barking cough, which sounds really terrifying to the parents' ears.

What is croup?

Crop has a bad reputation among parents because the barking cough sounds very scary. The disease is characterized by inflammation and swelling of the upper respiratory tract and usually affects children between 6 months and 5-6 years. It often occurs in winter and early spring.

The main cause of croup is viruses, especially the so-called parainfluenza virus. Less commonly, the condition can be caused by allergies and certain types of bacteria. Although frightening for both parents and children, in most cases it goes away on its own and can be treated at home.

Important: If the symptoms do not disappear within 30-45 minutes in a steamy (highly humidified) environment, be sure to seek medical help. If your child starts drooling a lot or has difficulty swallowing and breathing (after you've calmed him down), or if his lips and fingernails start to turn blue, contact the doctor right away. Croup symptoms may mask a rare condition called epiglottitis, which is an inflammation of the windpipe.

Can adults get croup?

Yes, when in contact with a child with croup, most adults and older children get a "cold". Croup is caused by a virus, and viruses are highly contagious. Young children are particularly vulnerable to croup because their airways are narrower. But make no mistake: just because you're not barking like a dog doesn't mean you haven't caught the infection.

How do I know if I'm infected?

If a few days after the attack of croup in the child, you get symptoms reminiscent of a cold - a runny nose, stuffy nose, cough and a red throat, you are most likely infected.

Parainfluenza and other croup-causing viruses are often mild in adults, but sometimes lead to more serious problems such as persistent cough and pneumonia. So be careful and take precautions!

Is there a way to prevent the virus from spreading?

It won't be easy for you to force yourself to wash your hands at three in the morning when all you can think about is how to crawl back into bed. But you have to do it. This is the most effective way to deal with the spread of the virus that causes croup.

Here are some other tips:

  • Thoroughly dispose of used towels and anything else you used to wipe saliva and noses with. And don't forget to wash your hands again and again. You have no idea how many moms miss out after blowing their child's nose!
  • Don't kiss your child on the face if he has croup. (If you want to express your love, kiss him on the head.)
  • Wash the toys with warm water and soap. This will reduce the chance that other children in the house will also become infected.

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