False croup in a child. Signs, treatment, difference from true croup
False croup is not an independent disease in a child. Most often, he accompanies ARVI. False croup in a child is characterized by inflammation in the vocal cords. It affects the lining of the larynx, affecting the trachea and bronchi. In medicine, there is a second concept of “true croup”. This is also an inflammatory process in the vocal cords. So what is the difference? Their main difference is in the root cause. In false croup – ARVI, and true – the ingestion of a foreign object inside or diphtheria.
False croup in a child: symptoms and treatment
Before proceeding with the treatment of false croup in a child, you need to make sure that the symptoms are consistent. The disease is more often observed in children aged 3 months to 3 years. Kids are harder to tolerate the disease due to physiological characteristics. Their airways are still underdeveloped. They are smaller and differ in shape when compared with the structure in adults. Therefore, the symptoms are stronger and more severe. The main sign of false croup is the closure of the larynx. The walls swell, swell and close due to the inflammatory process. In this case, a spasm of the glottis is observed. Narrowing the lumen of the larynx leads to difficulty breathing.
Symptoms of false croup in children
The first symptoms of false croup in children appear 2-3 days from the onset of the disease. If you observe several of them, then immediately seek help from specialists. Only a doctor can determine the severity of the disease and prescribe adequate treatment. There are a number of symptoms by which false croup can be recognized in children.
The child is sick with SARS. For example, flu, parainfluenza, laryngotracheitis, laryngitis. The latter includes measles, scarlet fever, whooping cough.
The baby begins to breathe noisily. During inhalation and exhalation, a whistle is heard, a characteristic dry sound. At the initial stage, this can occur sporadically. Later, such breathing becomes permanent. Shortness of breath appears.
The first attack happens suddenly. Usually at night. The child intensifies perspiration, the lips acquire a cyanotic color (turn blue). The baby begins to breathe heavily and coughs. After half an hour, the state recedes. As a rule, severe symptoms recur again the next night.
The cough during attacks is dry, barking, but does not look like usual. It is also called “seal barking.”
The voice becomes hoarse, the child often tries to speak in a whisper. This is another difference from true croup, in which the baby’s voice disappears completely.
During the attack, despite cough soreness and soreness, body temperature remains normal. In some cases, an increase, but a slight increase is possible.
The skin becomes pale due to lack of oxygen and respiratory failure.
Since attacks most often occur at night, during the day the child is sluggish. It does not absorb information well. After awakening, he already experiences weakness.
The work of the heart is disturbed, blood pressure drops. Oxygen starvation and lack of sleep can lead to fainting and even hypoxic coma. The baby can be delusional and see hallucinations.
What to do to parents
You need to act immediately. Urgently call an ambulance or take the child yourself to the hospital. Try to make your baby feel better before the doctors arrive. Dip the baby’s feet in hot but not burning water for 5 minutes. Such manipulation contributes to the outflow of blood from the throat, respectively, reducing swelling. Provide maximum oxygen in the room. Open the windows and wrap the baby in a blanket. Better yet, take the child out onto the street or balcony before the ambulance arrives.
The most important thing is not to panic, because your reaction is transmitted to the child. He is so scared that he cannot take a breath. Calm the baby, try to distract attention: “Look at what bird, moon, car, tree.” Speak calmly, stroking the baby on the head. Relaxing effects will soothe and facilitate breathing.
Symptoms of false croup are difficult to confuse with other diseases. The doctor will be able to confirm the diagnosis after collecting an anamnesis, listening and examining the baby. Additionally, a throat swab is taken for bacteriological culture. This allows you to find out the origin of the croup, whether it is caused by viruses and whether there are infectious complications. X-rays of the lungs and paranasal sinuses are also taken to determine where the larynx is narrowed as much as possible. With signs of hypoxia, a CBS (acid-base state) analysis is performed.
False croup in children: treatment
False croup in children, treatment requires timely. There are 4 degrees of severity of croup, which means the disease can progress. The initial forms of the disease are easier to eliminate. Severe swelling in the larynx can block the access of oxygen and the child will begin to suffocate. In view of this danger, do not self-medicate. Call an ambulance crew. Before their arrival, the only thing that can be given to the child from medicines is antihistamines and antipyretics. At high temperature, paracetamol is indicated.