If you have ever wondered about how to help croup cough in babies and adults, then you must have experienced individuals with coughs, mostly at night when the magnitude intensifies, leading to heavy breathing and difficulties ranging from stuffy to a runny nose, and other numerous discomforts.
In short, it is croup which is a viral infection of the vocal cords and tracheas of the child, i.e., the windpipe. A croup cough is a contagious infection that can affect both the young and old, Therefore, this article focuses on answering several questions about a croup cough, like if it is contagious or what causes it and even remedies to the infection.
Croup infections cause a tight, low pitched, barking cough and sound like your toddler is barking like a seal. A hoard voice also accompanies it. Breathing in is also difficult, as it makes a vibrating coarse sound called stridor. The stridor sound could be scary but panicking is not the solution as you should look to ease the child’s pain as quickly as you can. Several ways to do this would be discussed.
After taking several measures to ease the child of the croup problem the child is experiencing, do ensure you visit a pediatrician for help or in a case where you are the victim see a doctor for further instructions, treatments, and advice.
What causes croup in babies and adults?
There are two significant causes which are a bacterial and viral infection. In winter seasons, children and adults are of course more prone to cold also, which could be a croup helping factor. The season also encourages viruses that cause infections in humans.
The barking and coarse breathing are caused by the opening of the vocal cords which has become narrow. The viral infection causes it to swell to a large extent, averaging the width of a coffee stirrer from the usual size of about a straw.
Due to the narrow nature within the throat, if air would pass, it would be in a difficult manner and would have to be forced through. This is what produces a barking or a whooping cough when such person attempt taking a deep breath.
Types of croup cough
There are two types of croup, i.e., the viral croup and bacterial croup.
The viral croup is caused by the viral infections of the body system. The respiratory syncytial virus is one of the causes of viral croup, while the parainfluenza virus accounts 80% of all cases of croup. Parainfluenza virus could be any of types 1, 2, 3 or 4, with the type 1 the most common cause of croup.
Some other viruses that cause croup are the adenovirus, mycoplasma, metapneumovirus e.t.c.
The bacteria croup is caused by the actions of bacteria and normally affects the same area as the viral infection but in a more severe manner. Bacteria croup infections requires more treatment.
Bacteria croup or tracheitis that causes croup is due to the presence of a secondary infection from staphylococcus aureus. Other organisms that cause bacteria croup includes s.pyogenes, pneumonia, hemophilus.
When to worry about Croup in babies
Although treating croup can be done at home and most times you don’t need to worry much as some croup could easily disappear on their own, but you need to know when to worry about croup in babies.
Home medication is really useful and could go as far as healing your child completely from the infection, but there are situations and symptoms that if are exhibited by your baby, you should see a doctor ASAP.
- Presence of stridor: as stated earlier, stridor is the noisy sound produced by the child’s breath; when they breathe in. You should visit a doctor the moment you start hearing the sound.
- Additional illness signs: if you suspect your child’s cough isn’t the only thing he or she is suffering from, e.g., high temperature and cold feet, you should seek a doctor immediately.
- Persistent uncontrollable crying: if a child suffering from a croup keeps on crying after the proper medications have been administered, there is a good chance there is some hidden illness that you have not found out about. Why not visit a hospital.
You should also call for an emergency when your child:
- Pauses in his/her breathing
- Experiences an extremely difficult breathing
- Becomes blue or pale after a coughing spell.
How long is croup cough contagious?
The viruses and bacteria that are responsible for croup are quite contagious approximately around the first three days, after which your kid is free to return to public places. Sometimes the croup could also be contagious throughout the fever.
During the first three days, it is advisable you keep your kid away from school and other children because it is possible they contact it through inhalation of the virus or bacteria molecules in the atmosphere. Also, be careful around infected kids, to prevent yourself from getting infected. What’s the use of trying to solve one when you would simply make it two.
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Croup cough Homeopathic remedies
The croup cough Homeopathic remedies sole purpose it to help you in reducing your child symptoms of croup with a natural substance. It is advisable you administer it in a moist environment such as a bathroom with a running shower, or you should have a humidifier around. This should be done because it helps in relieving the croup cough easily where there is high humidity
The homeopathic remedies are mostly diluted and prepared for kids, meaning that you can give it to your child without the fear of the unknown. There are four main remedies that are used to combat croup; asconite, spongia, Dorsera, and Hepar sulph.
The asconite is suitable and mostly used in the early stages after the child’s exposure to cold or dry wind, which might cause them to wake early in the night with a dry croup cough.
The spongia is to be given after aconite in a situation when a cough is dry. It is a croupy cough that is loud and coarse, and could cause suffocative constrictions of the throat at night and is worsened by excitement, talking and cold drinks. Drinking fluids that are not cold help ease the croup alongside eating.
Dosera is used when croup is described as a dry, spasmodic croup with barking or ringing. The excessive coughing may lead to vomiting, and you might have to support the child’s chest or abdomen to reduce the pain while he or she coughs. The cough is worsened by lying down, eating or drinking. Yellow sputum or mucous may also be visible while the cough is experienced.
Hepar Sulph should be used in the latter stage of croup which sets in after the mucus starts to rattle. The cough becomes less dry and coarser than the asconite or spongia stage. Being exposed to cold air, eating cold food and exposed to wind worsens the cough, while giving out a lot of thick yellow phlegm. The child is irritable, sensitive to touch and cold and feels better in warm moist weather.
Can I use essential oil for barking croup cough in toddlers?
Essential oils are quite useful, but you must remember to dilute them first in an organic carrier like olive oil, coconut or sweet almond.
There are various types of essential oils used to treat a croup cough, they are:
Wintergreen oil: this oil possess antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-analgesic properties. It could be added to hot water and inhaled or the water used to massage the chest and throat of the child.
The oil is highly toxic because of heavy concentrations of methyl silicate and should be used in moderate quantity, and never taken directly.
Marjoram oil: they have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial abilities, therefore can help relief croup. You should use this by spraying it inside the room of the child or rubbing it on the throat, foot or chest.
Lavender oil: its basic advantage is the soothing and calm nature it gives the child when they are rubbed with it, helping them sleep and reduce a cough alongside cold.
If you would be using any of these oils on a very young child, make sure you consult a physician.
Bottom line: How to help croup cough in babies and adult
- Croup can either be caused by bacterial or viral infection but cold can also play a major role in irritation of air passage;
- you should worry about a croup ccough immediately when you notice the presence of stridor and additional illness;
- Typically in croup homeopathic remedies, asconite is given first and as the symptoms progress, so does the remedy medication. Spongia and dosera are administered next and the hepar sulph for the last stage;
- If you are going to use essential oil for babies, make sure you dilute it first
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