A FIRST aider has shared a video of a baby suffering severe croup so that parents know the warning signs.
Croup is an airway infection that is common in babies and children, but in rare cases becomes serious and requires a 999 call.
Tiny Hearts Education Instagram, run by first aider Nikki and her sister, Rach, shared a video of a baby with croup to help other parents.
They wrote: “Croup is when the voice box and windpipe swell, which makes the airway smaller, making it harder to breathe.
“Croup often comes on at night, after a little one shows cold and flu-like symptoms [such as runny nose and cough], with the second or third night usually being the worst.
“It commonly affects little ones between the ages of six monts to five years but may also still affect older kids.
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“Little ones with croup can get worse quickly, so it's always important to monitor them closely.
“Croup is caused by a viral infection, meaning you can't catch croup, but you can catch the virus that caused the croup to occur.”
The symptoms of croup are a barking cough that sounds like a seal, difficulty breathing, rasping with breathing and a hoarse voice.
The NHS says croup usually gets better on its own within 48 hours, during which time mums and dads “should stay calm”, give their child plenty of fluid and sit them upright.
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It’s also best to comfort your child so that they don’t get upset and cry, which might worsen the symptoms.
A GP may be able to give medicine to help, too.
But you should see a GP or call NHS 111 if your child isn’t better after 48 hours, you are worried, or your child is getting worse.
There are instances where a call for an ambulance may be necessary.
You should call 999 if your child is visibly and audibly struggling to breathe. It may look like they are sucking their stomach inwards.
This can be seen in the video shared by Tiny Hearts – and the infant is making noises as they breathe that sound unusual.
The harsh, painful-sounding noise when the child breathes in which is known as "stridor".
The caption says a child may also be sucking in around the collarbones, at the chest or bottom of the throat.
They may be drooling or have nasal flaring as they strive to get a breath.
Other urgent warning signs include if your child is unusually quiet and still, they get a suddenly very high temperature or their lips are blue.
The NHS warns parents not to give their child cough or cold medicines or to use the traditional cold remedy of steam inhalation.
Unfortunately, having croup once does not make your child immune.
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It is triggered by various bugs, including a common cold, so is difficult to prevent.
Difficulty breathing may occur only once in croup, or it can happen for two or three nights in a row.
The cough can last for a fortnight.
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