Well, my mom always said we would get paybacks with our kids--so now I have 3 children and ALL of them are croup babies. The other day my cousin contacted me to ask me how best to detect it and treat it at home because she thought her little boy had it. After I shared some things, I thought it might be of help to other parents dealing with croup. I'm not a doctor, but we have done some things that have worked over the years. Here is what I shared with her:
2) Wrap the child very well in blankets/warm clothes/hat and take them outside in the cold night air for about 10 min and have them breathe deeply again. This can help shock the airway and open it up--especially after they have already steamed.
3) Use a humidifier at night--make sure it can reach your child and try to keep the humidity in the room by just cracking--or if it is safe--closing the door. Be careful, some children can get cold from the humidifier being on all night, so you may want to alternate 2 hours on, 2 hours off.
4) We use Baby Vapor Rub on our children's chest, neck and nose to help them breathe.
5) We also have albuterol inhalers (prescription only) that help open the airway and lungs. You can discuss this option with your doctor.
6) Finally, if your child gets croup often enough, you may be able to discuss with your doctor having an emergency prescription steroid on hand for severe cases.
Remember, most important is that the child is getting enough oxygen and not struggling to breathe. Croup is usually much worse at night and if it is manageable, may need to be treated (see above) for 2-3 nights.
If the child is struggling to breathe, get him to a Doctor or ER. They will usually check the child's oxygen levels and administer a breathing treatment and/or steroid to open the airway.
You may also want to discuss using Robitussin DM or Yellow Triaminic with your doctor. You have to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL with these medications. Overdosing is very serious. But, if you speak with your doctor and get the correct dose, these have helped our children.
Good luck! Here's to many sleepless, croup-filled nights! LOL! The good news is--they grow out of it! :)