Laringospasm (also known as “false croup”) is a spasm of the muscles of the larynx, accompanied by wheezing, “barking” or “croaking” cough, hoarseness, difficulty breathing while inhaling and developing respiratory failure. It is because of this cough called the disease croup (from the English. Croup – croak).
And the definition of “false” is given in order to distinguish the disease from the true croup, which occurs in diphtheria and develops gradually, unlike its brother.
The disease usually occurs in children aged 6 months to 3 years. Since their airways are narrow, and the mucous membranes are loose, even their slight edema leads to impaired upper airway patency. Usually this condition occurs at night, it may be accompanied by a rise in temperature.
When a child sleeps, his head is slightly upturned and mucus flows unhindered from the nose to the larynx. As a result, the inflammation and swelling increase, the glottis narrows and the baby cannot inhale the air normally.
Among the causes of such troubles in the first place are parainfluenza viruses, influenza, adenoviruses and RS-viruses. And the share of the first accounts for more than half of all cases of false croup. In addition to a viral infection, the culprit may be a bacterial attack, such as mycoplasma.
It happens that this condition occurs on the background of allergies.
The attack always occurs suddenly. The kid is frightened by the fact that it becomes difficult for him to breathe air; from fright, the spasm of the muscles of the larynx increases, the condition worsens, the crumb begins to choke. The body is trying to fill the lack of oxygen, so breathing becomes more frequent.
For a minute, the peanut takes up to 50 breaths at a rate of 3–5 years of age 25–30. Very quickly, the cough becomes rude, and if the parents do not give urgent help, suffocation may occur.
To avoid serious consequences, an ambulance should be called at the first signs of a false croup attack. In the meantime, the ambulance gets to the patient, you must first give him first aid.
First of all, you need to calm the crumb and calm down yourself. Excitement and crying only increase the cough: because of the tension, the respiratory muscles quickly get tired, which makes breathing more difficult.
You can take a soothing solution. Dilute it for the child with water at the rate of 1 drop for each year of life.
When the baby calms down, you should give him an antihistamine, which will reduce swelling and allergic manifestations.
Let the cold air into the room – it will cool the mucous membranes, reduce swelling, ease breathing. Doctors also advise to breathe above the steam or create a humid atmosphere in the bathroom. Close the door to the bathroom, turn on the hot shower and hot water tap.
When steam comes, go there with the baby and sit for 10-15 minutes. The steam softens and thins the thick mucus that forms.
You can also make a warm karapuz bath and put a sedative on it or add a little soda.
To relieve swelling of the mucous membrane, it is recommended to drip any vasoconstrictive drops into the nose. And to quickly get rid of the accumulated mucus, you can call the gag reflex by pressing the handle of the spoon on the root of the tongue.
Even if the attack has passed, the baby must be examined by the doctor. He will determine if hospitalization is necessary, make sure that the swelling is gone, and advise medications that will help avoid the recurrence of spasm.