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As mothers, we all want our children to be healthy and happy. In the growing progress of a child, common illnesses are unavoidable, and we cannot always manage to protect our children from them.
Out of many illnesses, croup would be among the most common. A child suffering from a bad cough can make the you-know-what out of mom scared. Some small children have an inability to deal with big and severe coughs. Hence, preparation is the key for all handy mothers.
In this article, Authority Remedies will show you everything you need to know about croup and give you 15 of our best home remedies for croup. Let’s start!
What is Croup?
Croup is a disease of children in which their upper airway is infected. When it comes to croup, the children’s breath is obstructed and often accompanied by barking cough. The disease can be extremely scary for all of the family members.
Who Is More Prone To Croup?
Croup is commonly seen in children and even infants.
It mainly starts with an upper respiratory infection or as a cold and often occurs at night time as a barking cough. Croup can be simply treated at home; however, sometimes, it is life-threatening.
Apart from that, the disease is found in young children aged from 0 to 3 and older children.
What causes Croup?
Knowing about what causes croup will help you be more confident in using home remedies for croup to battle the symptoms.
Croup is usually caused by a virus infection due to breathing respiratory droplets which are infected and sneezed or coughed through the air. Or your children can come in contact with the virus by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth, causing an infection. The infection will usually begin from the nasal membranes and then develop to the vocal cords and windpipe.
Is Croup Contagious?
Croup is highly contagious.
The airborne droplets help spread croup from a child to another.
More importantly, croup viruses are able to transfer to women who are pregnant. However, the viruses triggering croup do not influence fetus.
If you are about to be a mom, then take note that pregnant women contract more severe symptoms of croup than non-pregnant women.
What are Symptoms of Croup?
First symptoms will be a cold. Then it will lead to a barking cough. The cough can be worsened by crying, agitation, and anxiety. Children might possess hoarse voice and fever with noisy and labored breath.
In case your children incur the following symptoms, they will need to have professional medical attention immediately.
- Both inhale and exhale product sound noisily with a high-pitched whistle
- Start drooling or trouble swallowing
- Experience fatigue, agitation or anxiety
- Struggling breath or faster-than-usual breath
- Appear grayish or blue skin at fingernail, mouth or nose
Home Remedies for Croup – The Best Natural Treatment
Here are the top 15 most effective home remedies for croup which you can easily apply at home in order to get rid of croup and prevent your children from getting infected again.
One of the best home remedies for croup is warm steam.
To relieve and get rid of croup, you can take your baby in the bathroom, shut the door, pour hot water on the floor of the entire bathroom and let him/her breathe in the warm steam. You should have your child stay there for at least 30 minutes.
You can also use a warm humidifier. First, you fill it with water and add some salt. Then let your child breathe in the warm air. Remember not to let your child go near it because he can get burned.
2. Cold Air
Another one of those simple home remedies for croup is cold air outside. Inhaling the cold air for some minutes can help reduce coughing.
When your baby gets croup, you should wrap him/her in the blanket to keep warm and take him/her outside. This will help your baby gain access to cool and fresh air outside.
How to use:
- Chew lozenges of ginger with a little salt sprinkled on it.
- Or you can drink tea made from a combination of ginger and holy basil daily to prevent croup.
- Another alternative is to add some basil leaves and a few drops of honey to ginger extract and consume this mixture in small quantities.
Additionally, ginger is also used in treating many other health problems. You can read more at Home Remedies for Allergic Rhinitis.
With its antibiotic properties, honey is very useful in getting rid of croup. Out of all home remedies for croup, honey can help suppress infections of both bacterial and viral in order to relieve the symptoms of croup.
How to use:
- Add one teaspoon of honey to a hot cup of tea or water and drink it daily to prevent croup.
- Or you can mix two teaspoons of honey with one teaspoon of lemon juice and consume it daily to soothe the throat and clear the sticky mucus.
Besides, honey is also an excellent home remedy for COPD. You can read more at Home Remedies for COPD.
5. Hot Milk with Turmeric
You can apply this natural croup treatment in the following way:
- Add three teaspoons of turmeric powder to a glass of hot milk and drink it whenever you get croup to relax the vocal cord.
- Another alternative is to mix turmeric powder in water and boil for some minutes. Add some honey and lemon juice and drink it daily to improve the condition.
You can find out more at Home Remedies for Bed Sores to learn more about turmeric’s other benefits.
6. Essential Oils
Some essential oils for croup such as rosemary oil, tea tree oil, pine oil, etc. are incredibly effective for respiratory and inflammatory issues.
Many essential oils are known to be potent in helping with croup thanks to their antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
You can apply these home remedies for croup by diffusing a breathe blend of these oils in your bedroom every night or rubbing these oils on your baby’s feet before he/she sleeps.
Remember to dilute essential oil before applying essential oils directly on the skin. The best carrier oils are coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil.
Read also: Top 10 Ways To Make Use Of Tea Tree Oil
7. Herbal Salve
Another one of the top home remedies for croup is herbal salve, which can act as a painkiller and soothe the nerves.
How to apply:
- Mix a cup of olive oil with half a cup of oregano
- Put the mixture on the heat and simmer over low heat for 30 – 60 minutes
- Strain the mixture to get the oil
- Mix in a tablespoon of beeswax
- Put in a few drops of essential oil
Whenever your baby starts coughing (one of the symptoms of croup) you can rub this herbal salve on his/her chest. This will help your baby breathe more easily after about 5 or 10 minutes.
Similar to essential oils, homeopathy is also effective in getting rid of croup. It includes three ingredients which are useful for the different stages of croup: Aconite, Spongia Tosta, and Hepar Sulph. Nowadays, homeopathic home remedies for croup are indispensable. It is also very suitable for children.
This home remedy for croup will bring the positive result after 30 minutes to an hour.
9. More Intakes of Liquids
Whenever you get croup, drinking more water can help cure a woofing cough and running nose. Especially, warm water is very effective in soothing the swollen breathing tubes, relaxing vocal chords and clearing the sticky secretion.
In addition to water, you also consume more other warm liquids such as soups, apple juice, lemon juice or herbal tea to get rid of croup. These are the simplest home remedies for croup.
10. Vitamin C
Vitamin C can help boost children’s immune system and shorten the duration of viruses.
Therefore, one of the most effective home remedies for croup is increasing amount of vitamin C in your family’s daily diet. Some foods high in Vitamin C include fruits (kiwi, orange, papaya, strawberry, etc.), and vegetables (tomato, celery, cauliflower, etc.)
Similar to vitamin C, probiotics help boost children’s immune system and are significantly essential home remedies for croup.
You can reduce the risk of getting croup of your baby by choosing a high-quality supplement of probiotics for your baby. You can increase the number of probiotics through fermented foods and beverages.
12. Elderberry Syrup
Being effective in increasing the immune system, elderberry syrup is considered as one of the natural home remedies for croup. It is packed with vitamin C, and it is antioxidant which will help boost the immune system.
When your baby gets croup, you can use this syrup daily to get rid of croup quickly. Besides, to prevent croup, you can use it several times weekly during cold and flu season.
13. Stay Upright
Laying flat can be a cause of coughing, which can accumulate to cause croup.
So a simple home remedy for croup is to prop up your baby’s bed to prevent croup. Besides, you should spend more time to hold your baby in an upright position while he/she sleeps.
14. Sleep and Rest
When the body is too tired, it will get sick easily. So to prevent croup as well as heal and maintain your health, sleep plays a key role. Sleeping could be considered one of the best home remedies for croup and for many other illnesses, too.
You should encourage your child to sleep and rest for an adequate time when he/she gets sick.
15. Detox Bath
A detox bath is an excellent solution for how to get rid of croup by helping clear the body, relax the mind and provide extra support to every system of the body. There are many different types of detox baths such as sea salt detox bath, essential oils detox bath, ginger detox bath, apple cider vinegar detox bath, etc.
Detox bath is considered as one of the significantly effective home remedies for croup. With this home remedy, your baby will be detoxified, relaxed their muscles in order to reduce coughing and remove congestion. You can apply this remedy several times during the time your baby gets croup.
When to See the Doctor
When your child catches croup, the symptoms are usually not severe, so you usually don’t have to be too worried even though a barking cough might sound worrying. You should try the home remedies for croup that we have shown you first.
Most children that have croup only have symptoms of a cold. If there is any breathing obstruction, it is often not worth panicking. However, their cough can keep you up for one or two nights, and they need to stay at home for several days, but it does not take them long to recover.
When your child has croup, there is a risk of development in narrowing of the breathing tube. If it narrows, then it will be more difficult for your child to breathe. In this case, they need to go to the hospital for observation but it is not common, and they will be able to come home within one day when they feel better. In some situations, the doctor will use a ventilator on your child to help them breathe more easily until the inflammation is relieved.
Nevertheless, you should know that croup is not usually dangerous, and it only causes mild symptoms and most children with croup get well soon. Only a few children need to be taken to the hospital.
You should always ask your doctor or the general practitioner if you feel concerned about the symptoms your child has.
In these cases, you should take your children to the hospital:
- More difficulty in breathing: Usually, children with mild croup will breathe noisily, but only when they have trouble breathing is it concerning. Observe your child to see if there are any signs as follows:
- Rapid breathing
- Breathing with much effort. You can observe them to see if their chest or neck muscles are pulling in and out with every breath they take.
- The child is more tired and easy to get upset.
- The child becomes very pale
- The child has a temperature that lasts for more than five days
In some severe cases, you need to call the ambulance:
- The child is blue – it is most likely that he is cyanosed
- The child is unusually sleepy
- The child is struggling to breathe
- The child is drooling and cannot swallow.
How To Prevent Croup?
Croup is not a serious problem. However, there has not been any vaccination to prevent this croup. Fortunately, besides home remedies for croup to help your child feel better, there are ways you can apply so that infection is not spread out.
Prevent croup from accelerating
Actually, to prevent croup, you should do what you would with preventing colds and influenza.
You should get your child vaccinated for diphtheria, Haemophilus influenza (Hib), and measles. This will keep your child safe from some of the rarest and most dangerous forms of croup.
Preventing croup from spreading
- Instruct your child to wash hands regularly to eliminate the germs. The hands are the perfect place for germ and bacteria transition.
- Have your child cough and sneeze with a tissue covered their nose and mouth. Every time we cough or sneeze, the body fluid will splash out, and can quickly spread out the bacteria. After they are done, you have to throw the tissue away immediately. If your child does not have a tissue within reach, you should encourage them to sneeze or cough into their elbow since this is how you can keep the most of germs from spreading out into the air.
- Make sure to clean surfaces that your child is going to go into contact to keep them clean and prevent germs from developing.
- Keep your child from sharing unwashed cups, plates, and other utensils. Croup can spread from mouth to mouth.
Making your child feel more comfortable
Croup usually goes away after 3 to 5 days. During this time, a little change in your home lifestyle in addition to the home remedies for croup can help prevent croup from returning and keep the child feeling more comfortable. Here are some simple tips you can apply:
- Keep calm
When dealing with any sickness, it is essential for parents or caregivers to remain calm. The reason is that small children can be agitated, and the parents should keep themselves and their baby calm so that they don’t cry and worsen the symptoms.
Crying makes your child breathe difficulty; hence, it is better to distract and comfort him by reading him a book, cuddling him or playing some games.
- Moisten the air
Even though there is not enough proof of showing how the air affects children’s croup cough treatment, most parents believe that the air can support greatly a child breathing. All you need to do is using a humidifier or sit next to your child in the bathroom full of steam created by hot water.
- Provide Fluids
Allow your child to drink more fluids. With infants, breast milk, water and formula are okay. If your child is older, he can sip some frozen fruit pops or soup.
You can also feed your child juicy fruits that provide liquid such as melons, berries, mangos, grapes, and citrus fruits. They make excellent home remedies for croup as well!
- Take enough rest
Sleep well plays an essential role in combating the infection. When the body does not receive the sufficient amount of rest, your child will feel more tired and be more easily distressed, which is not a positive thing for the situation.
- Keep the child in a comfortable position
You had better hold the child on your lap or put him in a chair. Sitting up can help them breathe easier.
- Try not to use cold medicines
Children younger than 2 are not highly suggested to use any cold medicine. Besides, non-prescription croup medicines do not help out at all.
Croup is an illness that might make the parents and the children feel frustrated, but you do not need to feel worried because it is usually mild and it only lasts for a few days.
Above are 15 tips on how to get rid of croup and the additional tips. You can apply them for your children in safe and effective ways at your home. 15 home remedies for croup will help your children prevent and remove croup and improve the babies’ condition.
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