Hello Croupe my old friend... |  Blog 

Tuesday night was terrfiying... the type of terrifying that only a parent will feel when they are overcome with fear for their child. It was 3am and Smidge woke up coughing like crazy. It was a familiar sounding cough the made my heart beat a little faster. It was a seal like type bark that I’d heard from Pickle 3 years ago. Then came the noise that really made me panic... the wheezing every time he tried to breath in. He was gasping for breath and it wasn’t stopping. It was this noise that had landed us in hospital with Pickle 3 years ago and it was this noise that made me reach for my phone to call for help. It seemed like our good old friend Croupe was back to pay us a visit. 

Croupe is a virus so it can’t be treated with antibiotics and it can be caught by anyone, at any time but it tends to effect children under 2 the most and it tends to rear its ugly head in the autumn months. It’s basically a virus that affects the vocal chords and voice box causing a horrendous, scary sounding bark like cough. In some cases it also causes a stridor. This is when the wind pipe gets so swollen around the voice box that every time the baby or toddler breathes in they make a awful wheezing sound and they struggle to breath. It can be so dangerous as sometimes the stridor can be so bad that it completely stops them from breathing. Croupe can be accompanied with temperatures and lack of appetite etc but sometimes you only know about it when the cough hits. This very distinctive cough tends to make itself known in the night time when baby has been laying on their back. This is exactly what happened with Smidge that night. 

The fact that he couldn’t catch his breath was the most terrifying thing. When it was happening all I could think about was if I remembered my baby first aid training and if I would be able to help him if he stopped breathing. That is a thought that no mother ever wants...trust me. That was why I called 999 rather than 111. I needed people here straight away that could help him if he stopped breathing and the way that he was going I was scared that that was a serious possibility. Thankfully the paramedics were here within minutes and were so amazing! In fact, all of the staff were that we saw on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning were just fantastic. People knock the NHS (and we may have spent 5 hours in a corridor rather than a room or ward with a bed) but the staff are just phenomenal. 

By 7am it was like the dramas of the previous night hadn’t even happened. Smidge was given steroids to help open his wind pipe and make breathing easier for him and that did the trick. He was fine again. BUT I am so glad I listened to my gut and rang the ambulance as unfortunately croupe isn’t new to us and I know how serious it can get. So if it could just bugger off away from my kids for a while that would be great as I don’t want to relive that night again!!  

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