She is 2 1/2 (nearly) - today she has shown all the signs of a cold, very snotty etc. and tired, grumpy.
Gave her Calpol etc. and put her to bed as normal but she woke an hour ago very slightly feverish, congested with a barking cough and clearly having difficulty breathing in. She has settled again now (in bed with me) but her breathing is still laboured and the signs seem to point to croup - not severe but worrying as I have not come across it before.
Have tried to prop her up a bit with pillows and she will stay in room with me (dh has opted for the sofa). Is there anything else I could/ should do for her?
If it's mild then put her in a steam filled bathroom. If after 10 mins this has done nothing, she's distressed, you think she's having trouble breathing or she's unable to talk to you then you really do need to phone an ambulance. To be honest with you, I would phone one now if she's not brathing properly. Don't bother with NHS direct, just phone an ambulance so they can assess her.
I have lots of experience of croupy children. IME taking them outside in the fresh air (wrapped in a warm duvet) can be better than steamed bathroom. If she has problems breathing you better take her to A&E.
I think at this temp fresh air won't do alot as it will constrict the vocal cords further. The steam should allow then to relax. It's proven to work for mild to moderate croup but the recommended treatment for anything more severe is hospital treatment. The op needs to call an ambulance for her little one as this sounds like a severe attack.
Thank you - she is a bit laboured but she is not showing signs of inability to breath and as such I think it is premature to call an ambulance.
I am checking her colour regularly and she is still pink cheeked etc. not blue at all round mouth or fingertips. It is similar in other ways to when she has had a cold but the cough was very different in sound which made me consider croup. I will keep a very close eye on her tonight though.
DD has this from time to time and often then makes herself sick, coughing and crying which is awful. We put her in steam-filled bathroom for 15 mins then 15 mins in front of open freezer or wrapped up in a blanket and carried around outside if it's cold. NHS Direct suggested it and it does seem to help.
Also, damp towels on radiator if the heating is on, bowls of boiling water in the room to moisten the air (if there's anywhere you can put them out of her reach obviously), pillow under the head end of the mattress to raise her up, bottle of water in the cot for her to drink and soothe her throat.
We also feed her ice cream or soup. A few drops of Olbas oil on a tissue under the mattress can help with the congestion - and Sudafed (I think?) do a plug-in that releases menthol or something. We've got one but it's so expensive to refill, we've never used it yet so can't say whether it's any good or not. HTH.
To me laboured means that she is having more trouble breathing in than normal it is harder work not that she is unable to breath in at all - I am sorry if that gave the wrong impression. Not my intention.
Croup sounds like the bark of a sealion. I don't think they can sleep with it. Mine were always awake but very dozy. I used to take a duvet into the bathroom, lie them on the floor and run the shower to get it steamy.
Croup is a bark sound, it sounds similar to a dog barking and can be heard when the child breaths or coughs. The more upset they become, the worse the barking becomes and they become unable to catch their breath. They can recover very quickly after an attack and will go to sleep. It can happen again 1/2 days later as the virus is still in their system. Asthma can be either a wheeze or constant coughing. If she's breathing normally but a little quicker then this is fine, children with a fever breath faster anyway. Her chest should be rising. ds's croup used to wake him up but he would sleep after.
According to NHS direct there is a wide variation in severity of croup - sometimes hospitalization is necessary - generally it can be treated at home. I do think dd has a mild case - thank goodness. I don't doubt she will wake again. Th cough was very like a sealion bark - but once she had shifted the congestion in her chest she was able to sleep.
Could do with finding my olbas oil - I know I have some somewhere
If it is croup then don't give Medised, Calcold or Calpol Night as the decongestant in them dries the airways which you don't really want.
Cold night air can sometimes help, as can steamy wet air (shower or dehumidifier). Just getting my DD up and holding her upright seems to help calm her breathing down.
Apparently one sign to look for is sharp movement of the chest - where you can actually see the stomach sucking in quite sharply and chest going out with breathing. If you're worried about her breathing you could get NHS Direct to listen to it over the phone - they might be able to advise you.