Joanne Gallacher
By Joanne Gallacher


Croup, symptoms and treatments

Croup can be more frightening for parents than for the baby but is normally very easy to treat. Croup is usually recognisable as your child will sound like they're barking - don't worry they're not turning into a dog or little demon - it may sound very alarming but is very common, especially in babies between 6 and 12 months old.

croup.jpgThe thing to remember is that the baby is not usually unwell and doesn't always have a sore throat, plus the condition can go as quick as it came.

So, what can you do to help croup?

To make your baby more comfortable we would suggest some good old fashioned steam. By the way, I don't advise you take them to your local train station and try and seek out a steam train.

You have two options, either run a hot bath, or boil a kettle with the lid off in a small room, and keep your baby warm by cuddling them until the barking noise settles down. People usually lock windows and doors in a bathroom and leave a shower running so the room fills with steam.

Steroid treatment for croup

Steroid medicine such as dexamethasone or prednisolone is usually prescribed for croup. This steroid medicine helps reduce inflammation. A single dose often eases symptoms within a few hours and is likely to reduce the severity of breathing symptoms. If the symptoms are severe this is usually what your doctor will prescribe.

Croup treatment NO NO's

Whatever you've been told, do not use a cough medicine for croup. Cough medicine contains an ingredient that can make a child drowsy. This will not help a child who may need extra effort to breathe so it's best to avoid them altogether. In fact there's no actual evidence to suggest that cough medicines and decongestants help in croup. Also, many people think that Antibiotics will clear up croup, antibiotics is not usually prescribed as croup is normally caused by a virus. And antibiotics does not kill viruses.

To sum up...

Children that are older than a year old can sometimes become much more unwell, and may find it harder to breath properly. If you feel it's serious then always consult a specialist like your local GP or doctor. If you have no luck with steam then it may be worth consulting your doctor. In very rare circumstances where your child seems very unwell they may require hospital treatment.

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