DS who's 4 has just been taken by ambulance with DH. He woke up barely able to breathe, coughing like a seal and panicking. Was awful. Sounds like he's starting to improve slightly. I've stayed home with DD who's 2. Does anyone have experience of croup? How bad is it? How long will he be unwell for? Will he be likely to get it again?
I'm sorry that you have had such a scare. Croup is pretty common and usually sounds far worse than it is. It is eased by humid air- you can get humidifiers to use in the bedroom at night for this that are relatively cheap, or fill a slow cooker with water and leave the lid off (obv. somewhere out of reach of DCs and you need to make sure you remember to refil so it doesn't boil dry).
They will probably put him on oxygen and it takes 7-14 days to get through, so you are probably in for a day or two of the worst of it, then it will get better.
It is so hideous watching them struggle, isn't it? I am in NZ, so it is later afternoon here, and I am trying to entice children to play nicely together and failing. My 4year old DD had it this past winter, and I was hovering over her bed, counting her breaths for a few nights as it seemed so severe. Other things you can do are to raise the head of the bed, and a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a tissue in the pillowslip helped as well. And a tea or whisky for yourself!
They will probably give him a dose of steroid (usually dexmethasone) when he arrives at A and E and within 20 minutes the difference will be noticeable.
Once DS needed a nebuliser to help his breathing (but that could have been because he is also asthmatic) but the other times just the cold air going out to a and e and the steroid has been enough to clear it.
How long it lasts depends on the cause it can just be a one off or it can last 3-5 days, if it carries on it will most likely be much worse at night. Right at the start of an attack open his bedroom window as wide as you can, or even put a blanket around him and go and stand in the garden as cold air shocks the body and can help regulate the breathing and ease the croup
Thanks everyone. He got home from hospital around 7am, still a bit wheezy but loads better. I'm going to take it v easy with him today. He's gutted he's going to miss his school Halloween disco later! What a horrible experience... Just hoping it was a one off. Thanks for all the tips about steam and cold air. I'll be on the case tonight.
Dd had this too on a couple of occasions (the second time on our first night on holiday abroad!). We were told to take her into the bathroom, close the door and run the shower on warm/hot so that the room filled up with steam and stay in there for ten minutes or so. It worked!! It is terrifying though. I hope your Ds feels better soon.
Glad to hear he's home & better in himself Just wanted to say (in case anyone googles & comes across this while looking for info about croup) Typically oxygen therapy isn't required because the inflammation is in the throat (around the larynx) and so doesn't affect oxygen absorption in the lungs.
Agree with everyone's comments on steam - makes a huge difference, often in A&E the parents report an improvement in DC's bark and it's normally from the bit of time they've had outside.
Most cases are sufficiently relieved by a dose of oral steroids that nothing further is needed apart from supportive management from parents/carers. HTH's x
Big sympathies from our house, my ds has suffered with this since about 2, he is now almost six and i would say he gets it as part of a cold every 3-6 months, we thought ours had grown out of it as he hasnt had it since january last year but it always suproses us out of knowhere (as it did 2 weeks ago!). We find now by time ds is in the car on way to a and e the change in atmosphere is sorting him and often by time at carpark we can turn round and bring him home. Our main action is to keep ds calm, we wrap him in a blanket generally and stand inthe garden with him pointing at the stars and distracting him from panicking then it tends to subside for us. We bought a humidyfying machine also which we have on a lot when he has a cold comming or going. Hope yours is a one off job x It is super scarey though and if dh isnt in to be the calm one i would not hesitate in ringing an amby if he is struggling to breathe - i always look for blue lips if delaing with it alone.