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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.

Think dd has Croup - any tips?

(54 Posts)
bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 06-Sep-08 22:00:44

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?

AvenaLife Sat 06-Sep-08 22:03:39

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.

FairyMum Sat 06-Sep-08 22:09:30

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.

AvenaLife Sat 06-Sep-08 22:14:41

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.

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 06-Sep-08 22:19:29

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.

Have a window open to keep air circulating.

Fleecy Sat 06-Sep-08 22:19:55

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.

AvenaLife Sat 06-Sep-08 22:21:29

What do you mean when you say her nreathing's laboured?

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 06-Sep-08 22:21:37

I have run a steamy bath but haven't taken her in bathroom as she is sleeping - I am loath to disturb her as if she is distressed won't that constrict her airways further??

AvenaLife Sat 06-Sep-08 22:22:57

What do you mean whe you say her breathings laboured?

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 06-Sep-08 22:23:41

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.

AvenaLife Sat 06-Sep-08 22:25:12

It's OK. smile Can you count how fast she's breathing in one minute? Is she making any noise as she's breathing? Can you see her chest rising or her stomach?

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 06-Sep-08 22:25:49

The reason I mentioned it was that one of the signs of croup is a noticable rasping sound on the inward breath.

KerryMum Sat 06-Sep-08 22:26:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FairyMum Sat 06-Sep-08 22:26:08

if she had a real croup attack she would not be sleeping.

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 06-Sep-08 22:29:05

Thanks Avena - I am afraid she has turned onto her stomach but I think her chest is rising and falling - i may move her in a bit though as she has roled of the pillows.

AbbeyA Sat 06-Sep-08 22:29:14

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.

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 06-Sep-08 22:30:21

Fairymum - that is what I wanted to hear - severe croup sounds horriblesad

KerryMum Sat 06-Sep-08 22:35:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AvenaLife Sat 06-Sep-08 22:37:23

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.

KerryMum Sat 06-Sep-08 22:38:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 06-Sep-08 22:41:38

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 somewheresad

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 06-Sep-08 22:42:28

crossed posts Avenasmile

AbbeyA Sat 06-Sep-08 22:42:35

I thought my DS had swallowed a pen top or something similar the first time. The 'bark' is frightening.

Jacanne Sat 06-Sep-08 22:43:24

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.

KerryMum Sat 06-Sep-08 22:44:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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