Croup is a condition in which your kids’ vocal chords tend to swell up, and the affected areas are the larynx, or voice box and the trachea, or windpipe. The swelling makes it difficult for your baby to breathe as the chords become narrower, resulting in hoarse coughing. Croup has been known to affect boys more often than girls and can affect children below the age of 5, till their vocal chords expand and develop further. It is also possible that a child who has already gotten croup can receive it again. Croup also occurs mostly in colder seasons, when winter is approaching.
There are two ways in which you could contract it. One is similar to a normal viral infection. It starts just the same way a cold does, and you’ll notice their cough starting to sound a little barky. Like any other viral, it is contagious through germs in the air and body, so it is advisable to keep your little one at home till they’re better.
The second way is spasmodic croup. This is believed to be due to the contents of their stomach. It may start suddenly in the middle of the night and fever is a common symptom of spasmodic croup.
Croup is preceded by a cold. You should look out for everything that is associated with a common cold. Another symptom is that their voice becomes hoarse and their cough sounds more like a bark. Stridor is another important symptom. This refers to a raspy sound that you’ll hear every time your baby breathes in some air. You may also notice that your little one may be running a low fever.
- To reduce the swelling, it is good to get some cold moist air through their lungs. You could take them out for a night walk. Try and keep them upright for easier movement of the air down their windpipe.
- You could also try steam, or take them to the sauna or steam room. However this is a slightly longer recovery process and you’d have to take them to the steam room every time they cough, which could be quite a task.
- Avoid giving them antibiotics as this may just aggravate the swelling in their vocal chords. Home and natural treatments are always seen to be more effective in treating croup.
- Body hygiene is important to prevent the spreading of the infection, just as in the case of a common cold.