This condition is caused by a viral infection. It can be alarming and often occurs at night, but usually passes quickly. Your child will have difficulty breathing, and a short, distinctive barking cough when he breathes out. He may be making a crowing or whistling noise. In a severe attack, he may use muscles around his nose, neck, and upper arms in his attempts to breathe. IF HE HAS blue-tinged skin or signs of a severe attack (see IMPORTANT, below), CALL 911 OR YOUR LOCAL EMS.
** IMPORTANT **
- If the attack is severe or prolonged, CALL 911 OR YOUR LOCAL EMS.
- If the attack is severe, there is a risk that he is suffering from a rare condition called epiglottitis. Suspect epiglottitis if your child has a high temperature and is obviously in distress, and has not had the Hib vaccination. CALL 911 OR YOUR LOCAL EMS.
1. Help your child into a comfortable breathing position. Sit him up in bed, propped by pillows, or sit him on your lap supporting his back. Reassure him.
2. Stay calm—if you panic it could frighten the child, which can worsen the attack.
3. If it is safe to do so, create a steamy atmosphere. Take the child into the bathroom, and run a hot faucet or shower, or boil some water in the kitchen
4. If he has not improved after 10 minutes, cool air can be helpful. Put him in front of a cool-mist humidifier, open the windows in his bedroom, or take him outside briefly to breathe in the air.
SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE.
Excerpted from First Aid Fast For Babies and Children / copyright 2018 DK Publishing