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Phil Chave
Phil Chave
creator of Distant Healer

Croup in Children - The Facts

Answering your questions about Croup

What is Croup?
Croup is an illness in children where breathing becomes difficult and the child often produces a harsh 'barking' cough, which can sound a bit 'seal like'. This is due to a viral infection of the larynx (the voice box) and trachea (the windpipe).

There are many possible viral causes of Croup. The symptoms are usually mild, and most children recover quite quickly. Croup can affect children of all ages, but is most common in toddlers who are already ill, perhaps with a heavy cold.

Some cases can become severe enough to require treatment in hospital, as breathing difficulties develop, and medical observation or intervention is required. Around 10% of cases fall into this category.

What are the symptoms of Croup?
  • Children develop a harsh voice and a characteristic barking cough.
  • The breathing is noisy and hoarse.
  • Symptoms often get worse when the child is lying down.
  • The child may have a temperature.
  • The breathing tubes become swollen and inflammed and can be sore.
  • There may be thick mucus in the breathing tubes.
  • The child may develop a sore throat, either by infection or coughing.
  • There may be a fever.
How do you get Croup?
Croup is caused by a virus, which affects the voice box and/or windpipe. The 'croupy' cough is due to inflammation and swelling of the vocal cords. Viral infections can be transferred through airborne droplets from coughing or sneezing, or from person to person by touching. Nowhere is the target host more prevelant than in the pre-school environment, and it can go through these places like a forest fire.
Typically, boys are more commonly affected than girls, and often more than once.

The treatment of Croup
Since Croup is the result of a viral infection it cannot be treated with antibiotics (antibiotics do not kill viruses). However, antibiotics may be required if, in a weakened state, the child develops a bacterial chest infection. A steroid medication may be prescribed to reduce the inflammation, in an attempt to decrease the severity of any breathing difficulties. Typically these work quite quickly.

How serious is Croup?
Croup is not normally serious and clears up without a problem in 3 to 4 days. But when it gets serious, you need to act quickly.
Watch to see if the child becomes over tired easily, goes 'floppy', has breathing difficulties or difficulty in swallowing. Gasping for air is a sure sign of distress. Especially watch for blueness around the mouth, nose or nails as this indicates that the child isn't getting enough air. The most severe cases should be dealt with in a hospital, so it is important for an adult to know when to make that call.

Try not to confuse noisy breathing with difficulty in breathing. Noisy breathing is okay breathing, and is a good sign. Struggling to breath is not a good sign and you should see a doctor straight away.

What can I do to help a child with Croup?
  • Try to keep the child calm, as coughing irritates the lining of the windpipe, which is probably already sore.
  • Comfort the child if they are crying, as sobbing exacerbates mucus production and makes the coughing worse.
  • Try not to panic. You will pass these 'bad vibrations' to the child who will become anxious and upset.
  • When children are in bed, prop them up with pillows. This will facilitate easy breathing and reduce the likelihood of a coughing fit.
  • Steam is really good to clear the passageways, but is no longer recommended, due to the high number of accidents and the possibilities of scalding. Instead try giving the child a shower or sitting them in the bathroom with the hot water running. Or just prepare a normal warm bath and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil. The steam and vapour will work wonders.
  • Eat small amounts regularly, rather than large meals. Coughing can induce vomiting.
  • Make sure the child drinks plenty of fluids, especially plain water.
  • Dress them appropriately for their temperature, especially if they have a fever.
  • Don't overheat the bedroom as this can dry out the air and affect the childs breathing.
  • The symptoms are almost always worse at night. If you aren't going to be present on a permenant basis during the illness, set up a listening station (did you throw away/sell your baby monitor with the cot?), or leave doors open so that you can hear clearly.
  • Remember, this doesn't last forever!!
When should I call the doctor or ambulance?
Croup usually clears up by itself in 24 to 48 hours. But, if you are at all concerned about your child, or want advice about what to do, consult your doctor. See the section on 'How serious is Croup?' to help you decide when it is appropriate to contact someone.

What aftercare is available for Croup?
Croup can recur in children at any time, usually when they have a cold or other illness. As the child gets older, the sypmtoms decrease in severity. There is little you can do to prevent a child getting Croup, especially if they are in regular contact with other young children of the same age. What you can do is, if you know your child is suffering with croup, keep them away from other children. At least this will stop it spreading through the play group or to other children in your local area.

It's worth remembering that Croup is common, even if, as new parents, you haven't seen it before. Health professionals are well equiped to deal with it and you should not be afraid to call for assistance. 111 NHS Online is a good place to start if you just need advice.

Does Spiritual Healing help with Croup?
Yes, I'm certain that it can help! Age is not an issue with healing and I try healing on everything. Healers cannot, and should never, promise a cure, but there is little wrong with any of us that I have not found is helped in some way by Spiritual Healing. Where hospitalisation is not required, because by then it has become an emergency, there are lots of reasons to offer a child healing for Croup.

Healing brings with it a very deep sense of calm and reassurance. This helps if a child is distressed or crying. Ask the healer to concentrate on the throat, upper chest, lungs, nasal passages and sinuses. Talk to the child, watch their temperature and check their breathing regularly. Take action the minute you see the situation deteriorating. Healing can reduce the recovery time following a hospital stay, or when the Croup virus allows other illnesses to take a hold.

A general word of guidance to parents: Remember, just as you would never leave your child alone in the doctors surgery, never leave your child alone with a healer. Healing does not require the removal of any clothes. In fact, a real healer will insist that you are present during the session, so that you may observe each and every word that is spoken, view every act that is performed and observe or feel the healing energy and your child's reaction to it. Don't be afraid to ask questions! This is your right as a parent, and no real healer will mind explaining the answers to you.

Helping Children with Bedwetting CD The Healing Power of Laughter CD The Chakra Clearing Meditation CD
Helping Children Overcome Bedwetting CD by Philip Chave The Healing Power of Laughter CD by Philip Chave The Chakra Clearing and Energizing CD by Philip Chave

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Copyright  ©  Philip Chave 2003-www.distanthealer.co.uk -- www.thehavenhealingcentre.co.uk  All rights reserved.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

The Haven Healing Centre is located at: The Orchard, Draycott Rd, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3RU