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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.

ds3 (2.8) has perfectly normal common cold in day but evil sounding dramatic croupy bark-like cough at night. whassat all aboutb then eh??

(57 Posts)
ChupitosGalore Sun 14-Sep-08 07:21:17


geekgirl Sun 14-Sep-08 07:25:14

croup does generally appear at nighttime ime. How long has he had the cough for? It usually only last 3 or 4 nights, with the second or sometimes the third night worse than the first, and then it calms down again.

ChupitosGalore Sun 14-Sep-08 07:33:19

ah. just had second night.
thanks for that, good to know we may be through the worst smile

(apols for shortness, ds2 on lap)

zebedee1 Sun 14-Sep-08 12:01:40

Oh dear we have been through this with my ds this week. Mon night the croup barking started and we ended up in hospital on steroids and oxygen. Tue night, bad cough and v little sleep but breathing much better, he's been getting better every night since! He's fine in the day, just a snuffly nose, and has even been to nursery. The Dr at hospital said that the croupy cough may last about 48 hours before improving but in his experience the first night is the worst - so it sounds like your DS is past the worst bit. It's a virus so nothing you can give to shift it unfortunatrely.

I found a humidifier (cheapest one from argos) in his room helped as did having him sleep in a more upright position (in my bed so I could keep an eye on him).

Hope DS is beter soon x

ChupitosGalore Sun 14-Sep-08 12:21:18

oh thanks zebedee. how on earth i have managed 3 boys in last 6yrs without tknowing this stuff is a bit hmm, so thanks all for the info

i do have him more propped up on pillows, but he wriggles off them. i had him in with me for a bit last night but he was inconsolable and finally insisted i take him back to his bed. managed to get him to accept and drink a small bottle of weak squash with a dose of medised in...

not lookign forward to tonight tho

psychomum5 Sun 14-Sep-08 12:25:34


you need to steam him when he is bad.

when mine have this we have a bad night, roughish night, really bad night, roughish night, better....but the cough can last more than a week.

if he is struggling tho, go to docs (or call one out). DS2 gets it so bad at times we have a stash of predisilone all the time now.

psychomum5 Sun 14-Sep-08 12:26:48

nappies.........can you get his bathroom steamy enough do you know.

the best thing when they are bad is to stand in a steamy bathroom......opens up the airways

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Sep-08 12:31:29

Do keep an eye on it though, DD has croup before xmas, and by the time Dr decided she needed to go into hospital, she really was quite poorly. Luckily though steroids worked very quickly and she was home the next day. Although unwell for the rest of the week, is was manageable.

DDs cough was far worse at night for the first few days.

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Sep-08 12:32:46

Oh and I was advised, as others have said to use steam.

Put bowls of water on radiators if on and take DS into the bathroom and turn shower on hot.

zebedee1 Sun 14-Sep-08 12:51:59

nhs direct website says

You should not give your child any medicine that may make them drowsy. Children often find it easier to breathe when they are alert.

so you may want to try calpol or ibuprofen rather than medised?

ChupitosGalore Sun 14-Sep-08 14:11:03

can you call doc in the middle of the night then? or is it just an a&e job?

right ok re steam - shouldve thought of that really blush. will do it in our bathroom as dont want to wake the other two (they all sleep in same room and 'their' bathroom is right next door to them)

zebedee - noted re medised. will give ibuprofen instead, and dose him up before he goes to sleep rathe than trying to get him to take medicine when hes distressed.

thanks all, really appreciate your info/time.

psychomum5 Sun 14-Sep-08 14:38:59

if he is really distressed and finding it hard to breathe, plus blue lips etc (it can happen, used to with megs....she used to go into hospital a lot with it), then 999 for live quite some way from an A&E I would have thought.

you can call docs out during the night.....I have many a time, and they never mind. only thing is, it can take a while, and they normally ring you back before coming to see if he is really needed IYGWIM.

for mine I use calpol and nurofen plus lots of steam. sitting with them with their backs against you so they stay upright is good.....many I night I have wedged me into bed so that J can sleep against me upright and I can doze too. also that way you can breathe with them......I try to match my breath timing with whoever is the poorly one. kind of helps them to listen to you in a funny sort of way. might not be a medical reason behind it but for me and mine I have found it helpful (MY MIL suggested it as DH used to suffer really badly as a child too.....seems to be a family thing!)

hope he and you get a better night, but never feel bad for calling the doc out.

ooh.....almost forgot.....taking mine out into the night air also helps. very weird, but the amount of times we have headed to A&E and it has calmed them down.....the docs always say it is the night air!

BigBadMousey Sun 14-Sep-08 14:58:28

Yes, night air is very good. DD2 gets croup a lot and we have made many journeys to the out of hours docs in the middle of the night just to find the journey alone has helped a lot. The docs say that is often the case and have told me o bundle DD2 up and take her out in her pushchair in the middle of the night to prove things shock.

Can you put some blocks or old catalogues/ yellow pages under the head end of his bed to prop him up a bit?

Hot, damp tea towels over the radiators help DD2 too (keep them out of reach of course).

Hope things improve soon.

ChupitosGalore Sun 14-Sep-08 15:13:43

ah, will look for things to put under his mattress (he is on bottom bunk so cant raise whole bed)

yeah, i did the sitting up with him against me thing.and i do that breathing thing with them too... i do it at bedtime when standing in the dark holding ds2's hand and it seems to help slow them down and get them off. i think we'd prob be quicker to hosp than waiting for an ambulance tbh, if it came to that. thanks for tips smile

night air makes sense, tis v damp, high water vapour content, spose thats it. also, unexpected change of scenery seems to help in other cases of hysteria/distress too...

ChupitosGalore Sun 14-Sep-08 15:31:15

not a lot of actual sense making sentences in that last post eh hmm

ChupitosGalore Sun 14-Sep-08 17:00:20

would cough medicine help at all?? if so what kind? (tickly/chesty and so on)

piratecat Sun 14-Sep-08 17:06:04

my gp said cough med is useless in the croup case, she only said to suse the honey/lemon type as a soother, and that other meds won't help.

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Sep-08 17:29:31

I agree with not medised or other drowsy medicine of any kind, they need energy and alertness to help them breathe, as they struggle with this when they had croup. If they are drowsy, they will fight it and get more tired trying to fight it and work hard to breathe.

And, as others have said, do not hesitate to take DS to the hospital for checkup if you are at all worried, or call the Dr as it can (but does not always) worsen very quickly - DD was poorly for 4 days, on the 5th day in the morning she was croupy and Dr said go home do steams etc, if no improvement call out of hours as it was saturday next day. By 4pm that evening I was back at the Drs with her as she had a stridor and her neck was also pulling inwards, and he referred her immediately to the hospital - and as I said in the last post of mine, she bounced back again very quickly with a shot of steroids.

ChupitosGalore Sun 14-Sep-08 20:30:01

whats a stridor? what do yu mean by neck pulling inwards? just want to know signs to look out for...

i have a big coat and blanket and hip-seat ready by front door in case i need to do middle of night walking round garden with him. have found and plugged in an ioniser in his room and put a wet flannel on a radiator. propped his mattress up and put olbas for kids and lavender oil in oil warmer bit of ioniser. he wouldnt take any medicine at all tho, which is a shame.
he fell asleep snuffling, slightly wheezing and softly snoring away... ok for now i guess... <sigh>

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Sep-08 20:59:00

Sorry Chupit - a stridor is when the stomach pulls inwards/upwards on a breath, same as the neck pulling.
The stridor is a very common element of croup, the neck pulling is when it becomes more severe.

Look here for signs and symptoms, I found it very useful to know what was happening/why and what to do...

[ NHD direct]].

I am glad he is sounding better,sleep is good, will help him fight off the infection. Croup is not always severe, just good to be armed with the knowledge.

I hope you both get some good sleep tonight smile

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Sep-08 20:59:45

nhs direct oops that should work! smile

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Sep-08 21:00:48

Scrap my definition of the stridor, apparantly that is the sound, however I always associated it with the stomach pulling too hmm, see, that is why I linked the site, it gives you the correct advice.

ChupitosGalore Sun 14-Sep-08 21:02:00


thanks pav.

ChupitosGalore Sun 14-Sep-08 21:24:40

ok, have now read the entirety of nhs and links about croup.

sounds like he is doing the stridor thing a bit... but mildly at the mo. will watch/listen diligently. [turns sensitivity on monitor up]

avenanap Sun 14-Sep-08 21:28:10

If he's barking then you need to take him into the bathroom and fill it with steam. If he's very distressed or is unable to talk to you then you need to call an ambulance.

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