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Croup: What you should know - St John

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

As winter is setting in St John has timely reminder first aid tips for croup. St John attends to many children with croup every year. Croup is swelling and inflammation of the throat as a result of a viral infection. It occurs in young children. Croup usually gets worse at night or when the child moves from a warm environment to a cold environment.

Symptoms and signs of croup (not all may be present):

? A harsh barking cough (like the noise a seal makes).

? A high pitched noise, especially when breathing in.

? Visible breathing effort with drawing-in of the ribs when breathing in.

? Use of the muscles in the neck to assist with breathing.

? Difficulty breathing or breathing very fast.

? Fever.

? Anxiety and/or distress.

How you can help:

? Reassure and calm the child.

? Allow them to adopt the position they wish to. This will usually be sitting upright.

? See your GP early if the child has a very sore throat, or difficulty swallowing, or a high fever. They may have a bacterial throat infection that requires treatment with an antibiotic.

? See your GP if the child is not improving. Treatment to reduce the swelling is often very helpful.

? Croup can be life threatening. Call 111 and ask for an ambulance if you are very concerned, or if the child has difficulty breathing or they have drawing-in of the ribs when breathing.

Source: Medical Director Dr Tony Smith

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