Just a few weeks after my son’s 2nd birthday, he woke up frightened and hysterical unable to catch his breath. When he coughed, a loud bark came out. Having to keep my own cool was hard. Up until that moment, my son had never even had a cold.
He had CROUP.
I was told that he could eventually grow out of Croup as he grew and by the time he was 5 or 6 it should be gone. He is celebrating his 6th birthday this October and I am crossing my fingers that this is the year. Every October like clock work though, it comes on in the middle of the night.
If you are unfamiliar with Croup, it is an inflammation of your child’s upper airways — the voicebox & the windpipe. Whereas another child might get a cold or runny nose, for my son the virus manifests itself as croup. Every child is different. My daughter has thankfully never gotten croup.
The first time my son was sick, he had to be hospitalized due to the fact that they could not get his airways to open up. His doctor’s office gave a nebulizer treatment in office and because this was not working, they sent him immediately to the ER. His airways were so swollen he had a squeaking noise every time he breathed. This was a called a Stridor. He was not able to be released from the hospital until the Stridor was completely gone. I remember telling the Pediatrician on call that I felt so guilty for procrastinating on getting Adam the flu shot. She reassured me the two were completely unrelated and regardless would have done nothing to prevent this.
So what are the symptoms?
- For us, the day before it hits my son always has a hoarse voice. He’s tired, cranky and irritable. I find he doesn’t want to do normal daily things. Last year, the day before it hit was Halloween. He chose not to go Trick-or-Treating despite being so excited earlier in the week about going.
- Coughing that sounds like a barking seal
How can I comfort my child?
- STAY CALM MOM! Yes, it’s hard! But you must if you want your child to stay calm too.
- Run a hot shower and sit with your child in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes to breathe in the steamy air.
- OR open a window and sit by the cool air. The doctor told me many times that by the time children get to the ER in the middle of the night, symptoms have subsided from the car ride over.
- Call the doctor and explain your child’s symptoms so you can work together to evaluate the course or action.
After each bout with Croup, my son was given a prescription for a steroid.
Has your child ever suffered from Croup? If so, how did you soothe them?
**I am in no way a medical professional. Please take this as my personal experience vs. medical opinion. Always seek medical attention when you feel you need it!