What are various home remedies for croup cough?
There are various home remedies for croup which you can practice at home to relieve the discomfort and symptoms caused by the croup cough. These are as follows:
- Avoid dairy such as milk products by substituting these by water and juices instead. Dehydration is normally accompanied by the croup; clear liquids can help in preventing dehydration and also loosen the congestion caused by the mucus in airways.
- You should try to keep your children calm and prevent them from crying as this can aggravate coughing.
- NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be administered to children to reduce fever and sore throat. But avoid self prescription and consult your doctor for these medications before taking them.
- Exposure to smoke and other irritants should be avoided. If you smoke, do it away from your child.
- Avoid sugar/sweets as this can increase the inflammation.
- Avoid processed foods and mucus forming foods such as orange, tofu, tomatoes, meat and shellfish.
- Give your child homemade chicken broth which helps in fighting the infection and also help in reducing the inflammation of the airways.
- Consumption of vitamin C rich foods and supplements help to fight the infection. Other supplements that maybe helpful are Vitamin A, E and zinc. However, you should consult your doctor for the doses of these supplements and should avoid self prescription.
- Give your child a cup of hot water with lemon juice and honey as it helps in soothing a sore throat.
- Place a damp and cold cloth around the throat to reduce any swelling.
- Massage the chest, throat, and back with lobelia extract for instant relief from breathing difficulties accompanied by the croup.
Tips to follow with your child: How do you treat croup at home?
Croup can be discomforting and unsettling for your child but most of the mild cases of croup can be treated at home. Here are the various ways of making your child comfortable at home.
- The most important practice to follow is to keep him/her calm as much as possible because the crying and agitation worsen the airway obstruction and symptoms. Speak in soothing voice, sing to her, cuddle with her and read stories to her.
- Moisten the dry air around by using a cool- mist humidifier. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can run a hot shower in your bathroom, and sit there with your baby for at least 10 minutes once the air inside the bathroom is nice and steamy. It will help them in breathing easily.
- Expose them to fresh and cold air by sitting in front of an open window. You might even take your baby for a car ride with the windows rolled down.
- Keep your baby hydrated by giving plenty of fluids. It helps in loosening the mucus and relieving the vocal cords. If she is very young, you can give fluids with the help of a medicine dropper.
- Keep her head elevated with an extra pillow as it helps in draining the mucus and clear the airways for easy breathing.
- Massage their chest with essential oils in base oil such as coconut oil. The essential oil is proved to be most helpful and includes tae tree, thyme and lavender.
Other natural remedies for croup cough
Other natural remedies which can help to heal croup and prevent it from getting worse and complicated are:
- Cold air
- Proper sleep and rest
- Creating a calm atmosphere
- Massage with essential oils
Some of them have been explained above.
Comfortable Breathing: What breathing treatments are used for croup?
To make breathing more comfortable in children with croup, a cool or warm mist vaporizer can be placed near them.
The humidified air helps in relieving the symptoms by promoting reduction of vocal cord swelling. Water vaporizers should be kept out of reach from infants and toddlers to prevent accidental burns. Another is to sit and breathe in a steamed up bathroom. Sitting for 10-15 minutes in cold night can also relieve the child's respiratory symptoms.
For severe cases of croup cough, an inhalation therapy with epinephrine (adrenaline) may be administered in a hospital setting under a continuous monitoring. Such kind of therapy provides a short term relief from the symptoms for around two hours. But this therapy should be closely observed by your healthcare provider as it is commonly followed by a return of equally severe symptoms, commonly termed as a "rebound" phenomenon. It also has some side effects which include:
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure