Strong barking cough and shortness of breath in children - help with pseudo croup
If babies or small children suddenly wake up at night with a strong, barking cough, it is probably a pseudo croup (croup cough). The little ones also suffer from shortness of breath and become restless. Experts explain what parents then have to consider.
When the child wakes up with a barking cough
Barking cough, severe shortness of breath and a wheezing noise when inhaled: Pseudo croup is one of the most common diseases in young children and occurs preferably between the ages of six months and three years. The University Medical Center Freiburg explains in a message: “Pseudo croup is an inflammation of the mucous membrane in the area of the larynx and the vocal cords. The disease is usually caused by viruses. ”Then the mucous membranes in the area of the larynx and vocal cords are swollen so much that the airways are almost closed. With every breath there is a whistling and hissing sound.
Boys get sick more often than girls
As reported by the Child Health Foundation in an older newsletter, boys are more likely to get pseudo croup than girls, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). According to the clinic, the children cough particularly heavily in the evening. If the barking coughing noise gets stronger, a seizure can occur. “Despite the threatening and frightening coughing noises, the Krupp attack is usually benign. The next morning everything can be over. However, some children can get into a life-threatening state, ”write the foundation's experts.
In the event of severe shortness of breath, call a doctor immediately
Professor Dr. Andrea Heinzmann, senior physician at the Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the University Hospital Freiburg explains how small children can be helped quickly. According to the expert, it is important “that the child is calmed down and distracted from the cough. So the child comes to rest again ”. It is advantageous to raise the child's upper body. In the event of acute shortness of breath, however, the emergency doctor should be called immediately. The experts from the professional association of pediatricians see it that way too. Professor Hans-Jürgen Nentwich from the BVKJ warned in a message: “If there is severe difficulty in breathing, a doctor should be called immediately. If the child's lips and / or nails turn blue, it is a life-threatening emergency, in which parents should call the emergency doctor immediately. "
Keep calm and hug your child
Breathing is made easier by cool, moist night air. “To do this, the child should be seated upright or on the arm. When the cough has improved, drinking cool drinks can also reduce swelling and thus alleviate the symptoms, ”says Professor Heinzmann. Even if the cough sounds bad with pseudo croup, it is important to keep calm and to go outside in the evening to relieve the cough with the child on the balcony or on the terrace.
Medicinal therapy with cortisone or adrenaline
According to the University Medical Center Freiburg, there are two options for drug therapy: first, cortisone and second, inhalation with epinephrine or L-adrenaline. Cortisone can be given as a suppository or as juice. "Since the amount of cortisone that is ultimately absorbed by the body fluctuates very strongly in suppositories, the juice should be preferred," explains Professor Heinzmann. It is important to know that the effects of cortisone take some time to take effect. If breathing does not become easier for the child within an hour, further steps should be taken. “Inhalation with epinephrine or L-adrenaline has a quick effect. However, due to possible side effects, such as an increase in the pulse, this should be done at the pediatrician or in the clinic, ”recommends Professor Heinzmann. The active ingredient is said to constrict the blood vessels and thus reduce the swelling of the mucous membrane in the airways. (ad)