Winter is coming – What does Croup sound like?

Croup

 

It sounds like this

(click to listen ^)

 

See PartridgeGP here

 

(thanks to the Royal Childrens Hospital, Melbourne)

 

Croup is a condition caused by a viral infection. The virus leads to swelling of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea). This swelling makes the airway narrower, so it is harder to breathe. Children with croup develop a harsh, barking cough and may make a noisy, high-pitched sound when they breathe in (stridor).

 

Croup mostly affects children between six months and five years old, but it can affect older children. Some children get croup several times.

 

Croup can get worse quickly. If your child is having problems breathing, seek urgent medical attention.

 

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Signs and symptoms of croup

 

  • Croup usually begins like a normal cold, e.g. fever, runny nose and cough.
  • Your child’s cough will change to become harsh and barking, and might sound like a seal.
  • Your child’s voice may be hoarse.
  • When your child breathes in, they may make a squeaky, high pitched noise, which is called stridor.
  • In severe cases of croup, the skin between the child’s ribs or under their neck may suck in when they breathe, and they may struggle to breathe.

 

Croup often begins without warning, in the middle of the night. The symptoms are often worse at night, and are at their worst on the second or third night of the illness. The signs and symptoms of croup may last for three to four days; however, a cough may linger for up to three weeks. The stridor should not persist.

Care at home

A mild attack of croup is when your child has the harsh, barking cough but does not have stridor when they are calm and settled, and they are not struggling to breathe. No medical treatment is necessary for mild croup, or the virus that has caused it. You can usually manage mild croup at home with the following care:

 

  • Keep your child calm, as breathing is often more difficult when upset – the more a child is distressed, the worse their symptoms can become. Try sitting quietly, reading a book, or watching TV.
  • If your child has a fever and is irritable, you may give them paracetamol or ibuprofen. See our fact sheet Pain relief for children.
  • Croup often becomes worse at night. Many children will be more settled if someone stays with them.

 

Steam and humidifiers are no longer recommended as treatment. There is no evidence to suggest they are beneficial.

When to see PartridgeGP

 

You should call an ambulance immediately if:

  • your child is struggling to breathe
  • your child looks very sick and becomes pale and drowsy
  • your child’s lips are blue in colour
  • your child starts to drool or can’t swallow.

You should see Your GP if:

  • your child is under six months old and has signs and symptoms of croup
  • your child’s breastbone or the skin between their ribs sucks when they breathe in
  • your child has stridor when at rest
  • your child is very distressed or their symptoms are getting worse
  • you are worried for any other reason.

 

If your child has mild croup that lasts for more than four days, or if stridor returns after your child has recovered from croup, take them to see a GP.

 

 

 

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Your GP may prescribe steroids (e.g. prednisolone or dexamethasone) to be taken by mouth. The steroids help reduce the swelling in the airway, which will make breathing easier. Antibiotics do not work on viruses and are not given to children with croup.

If your child has severe croup, they will need to stay in hospital, where they will be closely watched.

How is croup spread?

Croup is a reaction to a virus, not a virus in itself, so children cannot ‘catch’ or spread croup. However, the virus that has caused the croup can be spread easily from person to person by coughing and sneezing. If your child has croup, you should keep them away from school and child care while they are unwell so that they don’t spread the virus that is causing the croup. Regularly washing hands thoroughly can help prevent the spread of viruses.

 

Key points to remember

  • No treatment is necessary for mild croup, or the virus that has caused it.
  • Croup usually gets better in three to four days.
  • Try to calm your child, as breathing is often more difficult when your child is upset.
  • Croup can get worse quickly. If your child is having problems breathing, seek urgent medical assistance.
  • In a severe attack of croup, your child needs to be watched closely in a hospital.

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Do I have the flu Doc?

flu
bah humbug

 

 

 

A very common question so HealthDirect (check your symptoms here) have put together an infographic.

 

 

flu1

flu2

 

 

Infographic courtesy of
Healthdirect Australia

 

 

Remember, you probably don’t need antibiotics, but if you’re worried, we’re all here to help at Partridge Street General Practice!

 

DR NICK TELLIS

 

 

Your Specialist In Life

DR NICK MOUKTAROUDIS

 

 

DR GARETH BOUCHER

 

 

Dr Gareth’s Cycle of Care

DR PENNY MASSY-WESTROPP

 

 

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

DR MONIKA MOY

 

 

Dr Monika Moy

DR KATHERINE ASTILL

 

 

Dr Katherine Astill 1

 

 

The Government provides the flu vaccine FREE* for the following groups:

 

people who get the government subsidised flu vaccine
*Free – the flu vaccine is free but a fee may apply for your GP’s consultation

 

 

 

5 Things about Winter Colds

 

 

Winter is Coming! Everyone has a sniffle and they all want to give it to you. Why?

 

 

 

  • Colds are more likely in Winter. The cold temperature seems to affect your immune system, making it more likely that you’ll suffer more viruses you might otherwise brush off.

 

  • That snotty cough doesn’t always require antibiotics! Read more here.

 

 

  • Have you had your flu shot yet? It’s especially recommended for those at risk. Check with our practice nurses here.

 

 

 

  • Viruses can be spread by fomites (objects or materials which are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils, and furniture) and direct contact…disinfect your hands, cover your mouth when coughing, and stay away from work if you’re unwell.

 

  • See your GP if you need to. If you’re feeling more unwell than you think you should, if you’re not getting better, or if you’re worried, the Good GP is here to help.

 

 

Get well soon or better still, don’t get unwell in the first place! How can you get healthier? Come in and find out…

 

DR NICK TELLIS

Your Specialist In Life

DR NICK MOUKTAROUDIS

DR GARETH BOUCHER

Dr Gareth’s Cycle of Care

DR PENNY MASSY-WESTROPP

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

DR MONIKA MOY

Dr Monika Moy

DR KATHERINE ASTILL

Dr Katherine Astill 1