Putting the Kibosh on Croup

Putting the Kibosh on Croup

Homeopathy can work wonders for croup. As a parent, it is a definite relief to be able to do something that is effective and safe during a frightening croup attack.

Croup is a spasm of the larynx (voice box) that develops from a viral infection in children three months to four years. The hoarse, barking cough and trouble breathing appear unexpectedly in the middle of the night. Because children may have only mild hoarseness and a cough during the day, the middle-of-the-night spasms are frightening to both the children and their parents as they seem to appear without warning.

Coping with Croup

Some parents have stopped croup by taking their well-wrapped child out into the cold night air. Also administer homeopathic remedies to quickly reduce coughing and prevent recurrences on subsequent nights. If you have a young child, keep three remedies on hand so you’re prepared to settle an attack of croup.

Remedy 1: Aconitum napellis

Give Aconite on the first night, when the cough develops without warning and sounds alarmingly loud and dry. Be prepared for your child to be clingy, crying, and anxious. Aconite is also a great remedy to have on hand for the initial stages of other coughs, colds, and earaches, especially if they are caused by a chill or a cold wind. Give this remedy once or twice, and you will rarely need to follow with another. If your child continues to awaken or if the cough returns the following night, change to a different remedy.

Remedy 2: Spongia tosta

Made from toasted sponge, Spongia is excellent for croup because it is used for respiratory infections and asthma accompanied by hoarseness that threatens suffocation and worsens with sleep. Homeopaths describe the cough as a saw going through wood. You may hear noise or whistling as the child breathes, but the air passages are dry. Asthmatics often have thick mucous and inflammation in the bronchioles even though it sounds dry.

Remedy 3: Hepar sulphuris calcareum

Whenever you hear wetness or rattling in the croupy cough, choose Hepar sulph. This remedy will resolve a croupy cough that develops very late at night or in the early morning hours (between two and five a.m.). Be sure to keep the child well wrapped and away from chill, as Hepar sulph brings on a strong sensitivity to the cold.

Preventing Recurrences

If remedies work during a croup attack but your child suffers from recurring bouts of croup, then consult a homeopath for a constitutional remedy that will strengthen the child’s immune and defence system and protect against subsequent viral infections.

You need never fear another attack of croup once you experience the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies.

How to Rake Remedies

Homeopathy works best when given one remedy at a time. Let the symptoms guide your choice. Give two to five 30C pills hourly, on the tongue as needed. For young children, crush the pills between two spoons and either administer them crushed or dissolve them in 1/4 cup (60 mL) water and offer the child one spoonful at a time, stirring between spoonfuls.

Practical Measures

  1. Stay calm: even if your heart is pounding, take a few deep breaths and reassure your child in a clear, calm voice.
  2. Take the child into the bathroom, close the door, and turn on the hot shower. The moist air will help relax the muscle spasm.
  3. Use a humidifier in the child’s bedroom at night.
  4. Vitamin C and zinc lozenges are helpful for immune support during croup and as a preventive. Give children under one year up to 35 mg of vitamin C and 5 mg of zinc daily. For children one to four years, give 40 mg of vitamin C daily and 5 mg of zinc twice daily.

If your child is really struggling to breathe, seek emergency medical services. Also seek emergency medical help for a child with croup who drools, cannot swallow saliva, and has a fever and very sore throat. He or she may have epiglottitis, a dangerous condition caused by swelling of the “lid” that covers the larynx when we swallow.

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