Croup.  UPDATE: WHOOPING COUGH, NOT CROUP.
December 09, 2011

UPDATE: I took Charlotte to the doctor this afternoon expecting that she would be looked over and they would say, yup, croup.  Instead, she was diagnosed with whooping cough and we were told to lock her down.  This is for two reasons: a) whooping cough often weakens a child’s immune system, making it easy for them to contract other diseases at the same time which collectively can become a very grave situation very quickly, and b) it reduces the risk of us spreading it around to other unsuspecting people.

Because Charlotte had been recovering from a cold, it is hard for us to know when she became symptomatic.  If you have interacted with us at any point in the last two weeks - particularly if you have frequent contact with infants, the elderly, unvaccinated children, or anyone whose immune or respiratory system is compromised - please keep an ear out for any abnormal wheezing or coughing around you.

For those of you who know us and do not know what to listen for, this clip will give you a good idea of what it sounds like.  The first symptoms that we noticed in Charlotte were wheezing, the trademark seal bark, and a hoarse voice.  Later the coughing became more violent, lasting up to ten and fifteen minutes at a stretch during which Charlotte has no control over her body and struggles to breathe.  The coughing episodes sometimes lead to coughing up blood or retching and are always accompanied by a very raspy Darth Vader sound.  She is also running a low-grade fever and experiencing stomach upsets, both of which began two or three days ago.  Those are the symptoms that I suspect you might want to keep an eye out for.

We thinks we’s gots it.

Today is shaping up to be a doctor’s appointment, chamomile tea with honey, and fruit ice treats sort of day.

Has anyone here had a child with croup?  What worked for you?


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  1. By on December 09, 2011

    Alternating between sitting in a steamy bathroom (run a HOT shower and let room fill with steam) and blasts of cold outdoor air. Croup is no fun at all.

  2. By on December 09, 2011

    We just got over croup ourselves last week. We used a cool mist humidifier in her room. We alternated steamy bathroom air and open the freezer and stick her head in the cold air as per doc’s recommendations. They also suggested ibuprofen since it’s anti-inflammatory. Unfortunately, in our case it didn’t work so well. She started having a lot of trouble breathing and had stridor (that horrible sucking in noise when breathing) and we had to go to the ER for a steroid shot. That plus two days of oral steroid and continued ibuprofen for 2 days knocked it right down.

    The ER doctor said that the 2nd and 3rd nights of it are the worst.

  3. By Bethany on December 09, 2011

    LOTS of steamy bathroom time. We also had to do a steriod shot and oral steriod medication since Olivia started struggling to breathe with it. It defintley is not something to mess around with.

  4. By on December 09, 2011

    Hope she feels better soon!  My son had croup in May and we kept the humidifier running in his room whenever he was asleep and when he had a coughing fit during the day, we were in the bathroom w/the hot steamy shower running.  The cough lasted a few days, but the whole time he had it, he was acting completely normal (besides the cough)

  5. By on December 09, 2011

    We have croup right now. I had to take a trip to the emergency room Monday night because my little man woke up with blue lips. Freaked me the f*ck out. After a breathing treatment and a oral steroid my little man was better. We have been using a humidifier in his room then bundling him up and taking him outside for a few minutes. Also the doctor told us to leave his window cracked at night with our warm humidifier and that seems to help a little.

  6. By on December 09, 2011

    LOTS and LOTS of outdoor time! Take her (bundled up) outside for a walk, it clears the sinuses and helps the coughing subside. Also, the ricola cough drops and swallowing honey help the symptoms.

  7. By Lisa on December 09, 2011

    I had croup as a child… all the time! My parents would wrap me in a blanket and take me out into the cold air.

    A few years back, when I was still living at home, I woke up with croup for the first time in ages. It freaked me out. I thought I had grown out of it.
    Anyway, I had to call in sick so I called the morning show to give them the heads up and I was so sick, they couldn’t understand me.
    My mum took the phone and all I heard her say is… “No no. It’s ok. I’ve got her head sticking out of the window”
    huh?
    Apparently they had asked if she shouldn’t be calling an ambulance or taking me to the hospital. Mum said they must have thought she was crazy when she told them she’s just sticking my head out the window! ha!

  8. By on December 09, 2011

    My oldest child is 7 1/2 so I’ve been dealing with Croup for that long. I did the steriods and breathing treatments with her, one time, and then learned that it is not necessary unless having major trouble breathing. Croup is a virus so it will go away on it’s own. After occurance after that initial time is spent keeping hydrated, humidifier, Vapor rub and rest. It goes away on it’s own. Steam from a shower helps, too.

  9. By Carolee on December 09, 2011

    Charlotte getting the croup doesn’t surprise me.  Her dad and uncle had it.  She is also the same age that we first had it.  Donnie had asthma with it, which was a trial.  Anyway, a few mothers have already suggested what we were told to do.  Hot steamy room then bundle up and walk or drive around in cool air. 
    The other thing that our pediatritian told us to do was put a couple of drops of syrup of ipecac in some juice.  It lubricates that ‘flap’, in the throat.  And, it does work. 
    The first time I heard that ‘bark’ is still a vivid memory.

  10. By ca on December 09, 2011

    That flap in the throat is called the epiglottis.  When, the doctor told me to put drops syrup of ipecac in juice to lubricate the epiglottis, I said, “Come again.“  The good news, Sarah, is that we never had to have them hospitalized.  As I recall, I gave them yogurt w/active cultures and popsicles.  In a couple of days they were fine. 

    I had to look that word up or it was going to eat at me all day.  Good luck, kids.  Love, Carolee

  11. By Lindsay on December 09, 2011

    My son just got over a horrible bout of RSV which apparently is going around our area. I thought it was croup before we had the RSV testing done (12 babies at our pediatrician’s office alone tested positive for RSV that day! INSANE!). His breathing got REALLY, REALLY, REALLY bad. He was put on albuterol via a nebulizer every 4 hours (and eventually only as needed), we had a cool mist humidifier in his room and I was giving him lots of baths with California Baby’s all-natural “Colds and Flu” bubblebath. I also did the standing in a steamy bathroom trick that others recommended. Eventually when he wasn’t recovering, the doctor added 5 days of steroids and he eventually started recovering. Ugh, what a nightmare it was. Not that RSV = croup, but a mom I met at a playgroup had a little one with croup and said her doctor treated it similarly to how my son was treated for RSV.

  12. By Catherine on December 09, 2011

    Yes, my son gets it about once a year.  The “seal bark” rears it ugly head.  Sadly, my poor little boy had pertussis at 12 months, so his lungs are kind of susceptible to these things.  I do try to minimize the amount of meds we give our kids though, so he usually does just fine with a cool mist humidifier, and I do have a HEPA filter running in his room a lot to keep particles down.  Lots of fluids, rest for a couple days (although with a four year old that’s near impossible).  If he starts wheezing, I do give him a treatment with the nebulizer with some Albuterol.  It’s no fun.  Hope your little one gets over it quick.  It usually doesn’t last too long for Ronan and his mood is usually good throughout.  :)

  13. By on December 10, 2011

    So sorry to hear it’s pertussis! I was going to wait on vaccinations for my 2nd child (Dr.Sears schedule) and then at 5 WEEKS he got whopping cough. I was a panicked MESS! He recovered, thank goodness, and I hit the vaccinations. (still did Dr.Sears schedule)

    Hope she feels better soon!!

  14. By Mary @ Parenthood on December 10, 2011

    Poor Charlotte! I had whooping cough when I was in university along with my mother. Not fun (but good bonding experience!)

    Mostly stayed wrapped up in comforters watching movies and not moving too much. Or hanging out in the bathroom with hot shower running. Coughed for the full hundred days, to my disgust!

    My dad made us a steamer with cardboard, tin foil and a kettle. That helped too.

  15. By Mary @ Parenthood on December 10, 2011

    PS We both had had the vaccine, for what it’s worth…

  16. By on December 10, 2011

    Poor Charlotte. Hope she gets well very soonx

  17. By Sarah Christensen on December 10, 2011

    Mary - Charlotte had the vaccination too =(  The doctors drew her blood and started cultures, but right now they’re operating under the assumption that she simply didn’t build an effective resistance, which apparently happens in about 10% of cases and is part of the reason that blanket vaccination is recommended.  We’ve been told to do what you and your mom did - heat, hot liquids, steam, covers, not too much movement, no upsetting her, no going anywhere.  We get the preferential treatment of the doctors too - they’re calling here every day to check on her, listen to her cough on the phone, ask about her symptoms, etc. to let us know if we have to go to the ER.

    It’s such a heartbreaking sound too.  Poor kid.

  18. By Marie on December 10, 2011

    Oh!  I teared up listening to that clip!  It can’t imagine how awful it must be to hear it from your own child!  I hope she is feeling better soon.

  19. By Jules on December 10, 2011

    Oh no :-( That is awful. Poor Charlotte. I hope she feels better soon.

  20. By tara pollard pakosta on December 10, 2011

    hope she recovers quickly!
    tara

  21. By Catherine on December 10, 2011

    Oh no!!  I’m so sorry to hear it’s pertussis.  I hope she recovers quickly and you don’t get it, too!  When DS got it three years ago, I also got it and my symptoms were far worse than my son’s (which, of course, I’m glad it was worse for me than for him as he was only 12 months old).  It’s no fun at all and really it just has to run its course.  Poor baby.  I feel her pain.  I hope it passes quickly for you guys.  xx

  22. By on December 10, 2011

    So scary.  Thank goodness that Charlotte has such good caring parents who will help her through this.  Wishing you a quick and complete recovery.

  23. By Christy on December 11, 2011

    Poor kiddo and Mama.  I hope she feels better soon.

  24. By on December 11, 2011

    OH NO ! loads of hugs and kisses to your poor little girl !!!!!


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