Is it possible to prevent the onset of croup and barking cough in paediatric patients?
I have kids aged 2 and 4 who tend to develop a barking cough whenever they have a cold. They had to go to A&E in the past for nebulizers. I was wondering if there are preventative measures or medications that I can give them at the first sound of a barking cough to prevent the onset of croup?
Croup is a viral infectious respiratory illness affecting mainly the voicebox, windpipe and sometimes the lungs. Many viruses can cause croup, including those responsible for the common cold and flu. Hence, the measure to prevent a croup are similar to that for a common cold.
These include practising good hand hygiene (by washing your hands regularly), coughing and sneezing into a tissue or into the elbow, cleaning surfaces regularly, avoiding food/drink sharing and keeping your children's immunization up to date.
In terms of medications, cough or cold medications have not been shown to be effective in the treatment of croup. Although the symptoms of a croup can be alarming, it is important to stay calm, sit your child upright and keep him/her well hydrated and well rested. Most of the time, croup resolves on its own within 48 hours. Having said that, if your child has the following warning symptoms, he/she should visit the A&E:
- Struggling to breathe (heavy breathing sounds or you see his/her tummy sucked in during breathing)
- Skin looks blue
- Unusually quiet and still
Hope this helps and all the best!