As the Winter weather creeps in more and more people are dealing with runny noses and tickly throats. There is one viral infection that parents need to be wary of.
Health officials in the United Kingdom have discovered that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of reported cases of croup.
The experts have urged parents to keep an eye out for the symptoms of the ‘barking cough’.
The initial signs are like ones you get when you have a common cold, such as a runny nose, a sore throat and a high temperature.
The symptoms of croup consist of a hoarse voice, breathing difficulties, a rasping sound when breathing in and a barking cough.
The experts at the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have told parents to be on high alert as they have been treated an extensive number of croup cases over the past few weeks.
They expressed their concerns about the condition, but Dr Richard Peabody told The Sun that they were expecting a rise due to the time of year, “We are currently seeing viruses which can cause croup circulating in the community. It's not unusual for this to happen now and we will continue to monitor their circulation."
Croup affects a child’s respiratory system. It blocks the airways to the lungs and causes a harsh cough to develop, which can cause problems when talking.
The illness tends to be worse during the nighttime hours, which can cause sleep deprivation.
Luckily, croup tends to improve within the space of two days. It can also be treated at home.
If your child is suffering from croup, doctors suggest that you ensure that they are hydrated and get plenty of rest.
Doctors encouraged parents to remain calm if their child is poorly. Comforting them when they are unwell is vital, especially if they’re crying as that can worsen their symptoms.
In extreme cases, doctors will prescribe a single dose of prednisone and dexamethasone to reduce swelling in the throat.
It is important to act quickly when you notice the early signs of croup. Children are at an elevated risk of suffering from croup for more than two weeks if it is left untreated.
Failing to treat croup can cause other ailments, such as chest infections, ear infections and pneumonia in extreme circumstances.
Croup is particularly common in children aged between six months and three years old. The infection is contagious, but good hygiene can help prevent children from contracting it.