Croup Symptoms and Cures
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Croup Symptoms and Cures

Croup is acute inflammation and narrowing of the respiratory tract in young children, characterized by stridor - the grunting, wheezing or high-pitched crowing noise made when the larynx (voice box) is infected or obstructed (e.g., with a foreign body). Similar to croup, and also causing stridor, is epiglottitis - inflammation of the epiglottis, the tissue that covers the entrance to the larynx and prevents food from going down the wrong way.
                    child with croup

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Croup is acute inflammation and narrowing of the respiratory tract in young children, characterized by stridor - the grunting, wheezing or high-pitched crowing noise made when the larynx (voice box) is infected or obstructed (e.g., with a foreign body). Similar to croup, and also causing stridor, is epiglottitis - inflammation of the epiglottis, the tissue that covers the entrance to the larynx and prevents food from going down the wrong way.

Symptoms

  • Wheezing, whistling sound (i.e. stridor) on breathing
  • Child may have (or have had) a fever, cold, or sore throat
  • A whistling, high-pitched cough may indicate croup
  • Pronounced stridor and cough, when the child is more unwell than with a normal cold, and high fever are all indicators of bacterial infection, and possible epiglottitis

                 croup causes and symptoms

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The Cures

Naturopathy

Use cool water to bathe a child with fever, and allow him/her to dry off naturally or use an electric fan. Steam inhalations reduce the inflammation and swelling of the vocal cords in the larynx - use several times a day and add herbal or aromatherapy remedies. Bed-rest and sleep will promote healing once the child has ceased to panic over breathing difficulties.

Vitamins and Minerals

Give the child natural whole foods prepared to suit his/her age, such as pureed vegetables and fruit, freshly squeezed juices, soft, mashed chicken and fish, pasta mashed with grated or cottage cheese, mashed potato, custard and soups. A suitable juice would be 4-5 fl. oz. (100-125 ml) fresh apple, carrot, and celery juice.

Specific supplements are not applicable unless the child is severely malnourished, in which case a qualified practitioner should be consulted immediately.

Herbal Remedies

Make an infusion of rose petals - color with a little red food dye and add a fresh petal or two to make the drink more attractive. Flavor with honey and/or lemon if liked, and try to persuade the child to drink a little several times daily (rose attacks catarrhal mucus and combats laryngeal inflammation). Also make herbal teas of chamomile (for its calming influence), hyssop (a decongestant and expectorant), lavender (for its calming effect and lovely perfume), rosemary (antibacterial) and cinnamon (for its pleasant flavor and cough-relieving properties). When recovering, an older child may eat a little cinnamon toast (powdered cinnamon on toast with a sprinkling of sugar).

Aromatherapy

Tea tree, hyssop and anise essential oils are all useful. Add a few drops of any or al of these to a steam inhalation, or to a little sweet almond or soya oil and use as chest rub. A tissue soaked in eucalyptus, tea tree, hyssop or anise oil, and placed under the child's pillow or close to the head of the cot, can aid clear breathing during sleep.

Homeopathy

For a child who wakes coughing at night, breathless and scared, give Aconite 30c immediately and again after 30 minutes if the child is still awake. If the symptoms persist, give Spongia 6c and Hepar sulph 6c alternately every hour for up to 3 doses each.

Medical Treatment

This consists of cough linctuses, antibiotics where applicable, and directions to ease breathing with steam inhalations, adding possibly friar's balsam or tea tree oil. Acute epiglottitis is regarded as life-threatening, and a child suspected or diagnosed with this condition will be admitted to hospital because he/she may need assistance with breathing.

Prevention

  • Treat a cold or sore throat in the early stages.
  • Keep air moisturized, especially if your home has central heating.
  • Use steam inhalations and aromatherapy remedies to reduce the risks of laryngeal inflammation.

Caution

  • Do not ignore stridor, whatever its cause.
  • If a child has a croupy cough or seems unwell after a cold, seek medical advice.
  • If stridor is present but there are no signs of illness, seek urgent medical help (there may be a foreign body in the larynx).

     

Related keywords: lice
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