Croup is an infectious disease of the larynx, trachea, and bronchial tubes, especially in young children. It affects the vocal cords and causes difficulty in respiration. Croup often begins as a typical cold. Anxiety, agitation and barking cough aggravate the problem. Fever and hoarse voice are some of the warning signs of the ailment. These symptoms normally last for 3 to 5 days. As this disease is associated with the windpipe, small children of age less than 3 are more susceptible to it because they have small airways. Its virus develops when you inhale the droplets coughed or sneezed into the air. These droplets may infect the toys and other surfaces that your child comes into physical contact with. It enters the body when the little one touches his/her eyes, nose or mouth after touching the contaminated surface. Most of the cases are not serious, and can be effectively and easily cured at home by using some home remedies.
Home Remedies for Croup Cough Treatment
Keeping your body hydrated during croup is very essential. For infants, breast milk, and water can do wonders. For older children, soups or bone broth will be the best. Increase his/her liquid intake to the maximum. You can also try vegetable broth, herbal tea, lemonade, ginger ale or fruit pulp to prevent dehydration and loosen the mucus.
2. Steamy Hot Shower
Run a hot shower and shut the bathroom door. Allow the steam to develop. Sit with the child in this steam for some time, say 20 minutes, and make the child inhale the steamy air. It will soothe his/her breathing pipe.
3. Cool Mist Humidifier
If steam does not do the job, use a vaporizer to add up moisture in the child’s room. For small children, always prefer a cool-mist vaporizer to give him/her relief in cold. A humidifier helps ease cough and congestion. Warm mist and cool mist humidifiers are equally effective in humidifying the air, but a warm mist vaporizer may be hazardous in case of infants. If you do not have a cool mist vaporizer, hang damp sheets in the room.
4. Inhale the Cool Air
Open the windows of your child’s room, so that s/he gets some fresh air to inhale. If that too doesn’t work, offer a car ride with the windows rolled down at night. A night walk can also do wonder. The moisture present in the air at night will stave off the labored breathing.
5. Stay Upright
Sitting in an upright posture eases out the breathing process. As infants cannot sit themselves, parents should make efforts to hold them in an upright position to help them breathe.
Honey is an effective cough suppressant. Honey reduces the bedtime coughing and induces sleep. Give one tsp of honey to your child. However, due to the risk of botulism, it is not recommended to give honey to the child lesser than one year of age.
7. Lemon Tea
Lemon tea relieves the throat pain effectively. Add ginger to the juice of half lemon (you can add up honey too) and add hot water to it, to make lemon tea. This remedy stimulates the immune system.
It is a great idea to keep your child’s mouth watery during croup. Popsicles soothe the tot’s throat and also cure the symptoms of croup like dry mouth and cough.
Giving the right pressure at the right places helps out in many diseases. For croup cough remedy, press the wrist joint with your thumb to bring some relief. You can also press the last line on the ring figure, and move towards tip while pressing. Then, lift and do the same process for about 100 to 300 times. It will aid in alleviating the cough.
Mix ¼ cup corn flour, one tsp mustard powder and warm olive oil in a container. Spread this paste on a handkerchief and fold it half and around the corners so that the paste does not spill out. Now use this mustard plaster around the neck of the child at night, to give him/her relief from the croup pain.
11. Castor Oil
A warm compress of castor oil on the chest will open the airways of the child. It gets absorbed by the skin, thus giving relief from the pain. It has anti-inflammatory properties that make it the best choice for croup patients.
Herbal Remedies for Croup
Mullein milk is a traditional remedy for respiratory problems. Mullein flowers and leaves act as anti-inflammatory agents. You can make tea by brewing its leaves. Add honey or sugar for taste. Or else, make the child inhale its steam for treating the throat infection.
13. Elderberry Flowers
Among natural remedies for croup cough, elderberry holds a significant place. It is good for immunity boosting and upper respiratory problems. It also helps in congestion. Take elderberry syrup to get rid of croup symptoms.
14. Betel Leaves
Betel is an antivirus herb that cures croup effectively. A tea made of betel leaves will help your child fight the croup virus. Make the child drink it 2 to 3 times a day.
Lobelia is the natural remedy for croup. Lobelia extract is the best herb for curing asthma and breathing issues. For getting quick relief from inflammation and cough, drink lobelia extract.
Thinking about how to treat croup at home? Chamomile can be your answer. It is effective in croup treatment in toddlers. Make the tot drink chamomile tea, which soothes the sore throat.
Being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal in nature, marjoram is an excellent herbal remedy for croup. Marjoram oil can be sprayed in the room or can be rubbed on the chest or foot. Marjoram tea is also helpful in croup treatment.
It is a perennial herb which is also known as bee balm. It is helpful in case of a severe cough. Boil two to three leaves of horsemint into a cup of hot water. It can be sipped 2 to 3 times a day, to aid in trouble-free respiration.
19. Wild Cherry Bark
This herb helps soothe the irritation in the throat. It is high in anti-inflammatory properties. It tastes good and can be added to any food or beverage. Tea can also be made from it, and it can also be used for steam inhalation purpose.
20. Wintergreen Oil
Wintergreen oil, apart from being anti-inflammatory, is antiviral too. It can be added to hot water and allowed to inhale by the kid. It can also be used in massaging the upper throat and chest of the baby.
21. Herbal Salve
Herbal salve is the best remedy to cure croup in infants. Its medicinal properties give relief in pain and oregano used in its preparation is great in calming the cough. Take 2 cups of olive oil. Mix oregano (1 cup) in it. Put it on the heat. Let it simmer for 30-60 minutes. Now strain it through cheesecloth to extract the oil. Now melt ¼ cup beeswax in the boiler. Mix the content and add five drops of tea tree, pine, spruce or fir essential oil and store in a container. Use it to rub on your child’s chest and foot.
- Stay calm and composed.
- Make the child take complete rest.
- Rinse your hands frequently.
- Wash the toys of the toddler with soap.
- Clean the utensils of an infected child with hot water.
- Teach your child to cover his/her nose and mouth with tissue while sneezing or coughing, to prevent infection.
- Don’t let your child come in contact with a sick person.
- Don’t let a person with a cough or cold kiss or touch your child.
- Avoid using utensils of a sick person for the baby.
- Smoking should be prohibited in the house.
- Avoid dairy products as it can cause thickening of mucus that will make the passage of cough more difficult.