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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.


(15 Posts)
DeirdreDoo Sat 28-Nov-15 09:13:14

I thought I'd ask on here as 111 weren't much use last night - is there anything I can do to help ds (who is nearly 3) with his cough?

He always gets a barking cough with every cold he has (thankfully few so far - maybe he's had about 3 or 4 including nearly being admitted for a chest infection last winter)

He gets throat retractions but not chest ones, I think it could be worse but it really upsets him and the more he cries the less he can stop iyswim.

I've been told to take him i nthe bathroom and turn on the taps for some steam - problem being our water doesn't get hot enough to make it steamy (though I may be able to fiddle with the boiler, just not sure how)

Is there a steaming-mask type thing you can get for small children? Can I do anything else to help him?

Also, bit worried he might have an underlying thing going on that causes his throat to react like this every time. And I don't know how to ask that or what the possibilities are.

Any thoughts or suggestions extremely welcome - thank you.

MyNameIsSuz Sat 28-Nov-15 09:29:00

My 3yo had this a fortnight ago - 111 sent us to the out of hours for a dose of steroids. Has he had that?

We were also told to make sure the air was as moist as possible. The Dr suggested if we have the heating on, which we do, that we soak tea towels and drape them over the radiators.

If your bathroom taps don't get hot enough for steam, would running the shower for ten minutes do the trick? My boy also spent lots of time in the bath, not boiling hot of course but it was very obvious when coming back into the bathroom that the air was much warmer and steamier.

I feel for you, it's horrible isn't it, especially at night.

DeirdreDoo Sat 28-Nov-15 09:59:53

Thank you very much for all the information and suggestions. I had never heard of them being able to give steroids, I'd assumed that would be a sort of asthma-only scenario? Maybe it is connected, he does get eczema somewhat. It sounds like a good plan if he is really bad in the night though.

I think I'll have to see how it goes and maybe book an appt with the GP to see if they can investigate.

Also will try the shower/bath thing, our bathroom is pretty large and so it seems not to get very moist at all but I think if I can manage to keep the door closed, (it has no catch - the door is really crappy) it might at least be a more damp environment than the bedroom.

Thanks again and hope your little one is alright now.

bigkidsdidit Sat 28-Nov-15 10:03:16

My 4 year old gets croup at least four times a year. What works with us is cold air rather than steam. I take him into the sitting room, tuck him in his duvet and open all the windows. Also keep them upright in bed or with lots of cushions. That seems to hold the worst off. We used to go in for steroids every time but now he is older he doesn't need them any more.

Athrawes Sat 28-Nov-15 10:06:38

My now 5.5 year old has had croup twice a year for the last five years. It is horrid. They will grow out of it, so they say, once their airways mature. The only thing that works for us is a five day course of oral steroids. Marvelous stuff. Without them his sleep is dreadful and he gets terrible sore throat and strained stomach muscles. He doesn't have asthma.

DeirdreDoo Sat 28-Nov-15 10:36:47

Oh gosh, I think I should have taken them up on the offer of an appointment now. He is fine at the moment and being quite active and barely coughing, at all - I'm worried about tonight though.

Do you think if I took him to the OOH today they might prescribe oral steroids?

I'm bewildered that no one suggested this last year when he was really poorly. Maybe he was too small, he was nearly two.

Glad it may not mean asthma.

Thank you everyone. I feel a bit more in control now. It's always so sudden and always in the middle of the night for some reason, so perhaps keeping him upright would actually prevent it, maybe it is the lying down that causes it?

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sat 28-Nov-15 11:04:53

DS has had severe croup twice - the medics actually said they don't recommend the steam thing any more as apparently it doesn't work.

But one steroid tablet stopped it really quickly - it was amazing.

Sirzy Sat 28-Nov-15 11:09:27

Cold air is the best thing.

If he is retracting you need to get him seen.

Steroids are only generally given for croup that is impacting upon breathing. Generally it is self limiting and doesn't need any treatment.

DeirdreDoo Sat 28-Nov-15 13:17:29

Thank you - are neck retractions (like, the base of his neck iykwim?) as bad as the chest sort? They didn't seem bothered when I said he was having them last year. And his sats were fine as I took him to A&E to be checked.

I think maybe we will ride this one out as he is so much better today and then if it is bad tonight, I will make an appt and try and get hold of some steroids tomorrow.

Thank you again.

DeirdreDoo Sat 28-Nov-15 13:18:25

Interesting about the steam, I shan't bother trying to find a steam inhalation device then! smile

I'll try the cold air though, we have a balcony so can go there and just open the door for a moment and see if it helps.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 28-Nov-15 13:20:59

My son is nearly nine and still gets it. We have a humidifier unit and put some eucalyptus in could you try that?

Yuletidekitty Sat 28-Nov-15 13:22:42

Croup is nasty but as said up thread it's self limiting.

I have twin boys and a dd - all have had croup .

Wrap him in a warm blanket and take him outside for a few mins . The cold air works every time on mine .

DeirdreDoo Sat 28-Nov-15 13:31:49

I will try the cold air and if no joy, then I might look at a humidifier - thank you for the suggestion -

by the way does anyone know what causes it to start with? This is my third child and neither of the others ever had this, so I'm not sure why he does. Is it just immaturity of the airway?

None of them has ever been exposed to cigarette smoke etc etc. I can't think of anything else that might be different.

bigkidsdidit Sat 28-Nov-15 15:04:11

I work with a respiratory consultant and I've asked him this a lot. He says that some children have narrower airways than others so colds / coughs become harder to clear and impact on breathing. But the children can clear the colds in the usual time so it is self limiting.

If he gets it tonight wrap him up, pull an armchair up to the wide open balcony door and sit him upright on your lap, see if that helps. But if he has chest retractions take him to a and e. We've never had a course of steroids just a single dose.

DeirdreDoo Sat 28-Nov-15 17:11:08

That's very reassuring, thank you so much. I will try that and hope it helps him.

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