Babies are very susceptible to various diseases during their formative years. This is due to their body system not being fully developed with adequate antibodies necessary to fight off the encroaching virus. It isn't far to see the reason they need special care.
One illness quite prevalent in babies and young children is the Croup infection.
The providers at AFC Urgent Care North Andover have the health of our community at top of mind. For all illnesses in need of urgent care, visit our center today. Learn more about the conditions treatable at urgent care vs. the emergency room now.
What is Croup?
Croup usually develops due to a viral infection that causes the trachea and vocal box inflammation. This relatively common childhood illness, which usually occurs in children between six months and three years of age, often initially appears to be cold or other mild illness.
From this point, the child's voice becomes harsh, and a distinguishable cough begins to develop. As inflammation increases, the cough usually becomes worse and uncontrollable.
Croup is most often contracted in the fall or winter and spread through coughing or sneezing.
What are the symptoms of Croup?
Croup commonly appears in children aged between 6months to 3 years. Although older children can also get infected with this virus, it is much more contractible in younger children due to their smaller airways and heightened sensitivity to the virus.
Symptoms of this Illness vary depending on each child. They may include;
- Developing Hoarse voice and coughs.
- Difficulty swallowing
- Runny nose.
- Rapid pulse
- Discolored lips (in severe cases)
- Difficulty breathing
- Retraction of skin when breathing
One crucial step you should take when dealing with these symptoms is to remain calm while ensuring your child is calm. Restlessness and fear of suffocation can aggravate the symptom making the illness more unbearable for your child.
The most common treatment for Croup is pain medication purchased over-the-counter. If your child shows symptoms of a sour throat, you can apply ibuprofen or acetaminophen ( if they are over six months) or warm beverages to make your child comfortable.
Allowing your child to breathe in cool and moist air tends to work best in alleviating coughing spells. Using a cold mist humidifier can supply this type of air, which can be especially helpful at night.
- Place the child upright, open the windows and allow the Fresh air to serve its soothing effect.
Also, ensuring your child is well hydrated has many health benefits. With Croup symptoms, taking enough fluids can help combat this illness.
Severe symptoms of Croup are usually treated with respiratory treatments using a nebulizer in a hospital. A trachea incision may be necessary if there is an acute risk of suffocation or intubation.
If you notice these warning signs of Croup in your child, a doctor should always be consulted immediately to examine the child and make the correct diagnosis.