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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses  >  Croup

CROUP

SYMPTOMS: The term ‘croup’ refers to an unusual type of hoarse cough. Doctors term it as ‘brassy’ or ‘croupy’ cough. It is often, though not always accompanied by stridor (noisy breathing), hoarseness of voice and difficult breathing. CAUSES: Croup is due to an inflammation of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe). The inflammation may be due to a self-limiting viral infection, but also to a serious bacterial infection.

The common causes of croup are:

  • Diphtheria involving the larynx (see Diphtheria)
  • Spasmodic croup
  • Acute laryngotracheobronchitis
  • Epiglottitis


Spasmodic Croup
A croup without fever is not a serious disease, but can be very scary — both for the child as well as the parents. The disease usually affects children between 1 and 3 years of age. 

SYMPTOMS: The child goes to bed normally and gets up suddenly with a barking cough and noisy breathing. He appears very anxious. He has no fever. As the dawn sets in, the child appears normal. He may get similar attacks again. 

The disease occurs due to a viral infection. Allergy and psychogenic factors may play some role. There may be a history of similar episodes in other members of the family.

TREATMENT: Steam inhalation is the best treatment. Sit with your child for about 20 minutes in the bathroom a little away from a hot shower or a bathtub or a big bucket filled with hot water. Let the child sit up till the doctor comes. Give him plenty of liquids, including water.

After the first attack, it is advisable to consult a doctor to rule out any serious disease.


Acute Laryngotracheobronchitis

This is also a viral infection.

SYMPTOMS: In this, fever is a prominent feature, besides the sudden appearance of croupy cough and noisy breathing. Unlike in spasmodic croup, the child’s condition rapidly deteriorates. The child appears extremely restless and scared.

TREATMENT: Show the child to a doctor and let him/her decide if hospitalisation is needed.


Acute Epiglottitis
Acute epiglottitis is a bacterial infection. It is the most serious type of croup and needs urgent attention. It affects the lid covering the trachea (epiglottis).

SYMPTOMS: Besides the symptoms mentioned above, the child has difficulty swallowing and drools. Within a few minutes or hours, the condition may worsen. Breathing may become very difficult. The child may become blue or even unconscious.

TREATMENT: Children affected need hospitalisation and are given oxygen, intravenous fluids and antibiotics.




7 March, 2016

 
Part 4
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses

Abdominal Pain
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Whooping Cough (Pertusis)



Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Emergencies
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Homoeopathy
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
 
Guide to Child Care
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Introduction
1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand
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