Cold, wet winter is well and truly here and the usual coughs and colds abound.
As parents, one of the scariest acute winter illnesses to deal with is the awful sound of our child with a barking, croupy cough.
Homeopathy has three remedies up its sleeve, which if given quickly, can stop it in its tracks.
What is Croup?
Croup is a respiratory infection, usually viral, that causes a barking cough and wheezing due to inflammation and swelling of the vocal chords. It can arrive without warning (sometimes a runny nose and mild temperature might precede it) and typically develops after the child falls asleep. It can be quite shocking when they wake with a frightening seal’s bark of a cough and struggle to catch their breath.
If your child becomes ill with croup it is important to stay calm and comfort them and if you don’t have remedies to hand do the following things:
- prop your child up so that they are upright and help them find a position which is more comfortable for them
- encourage them to drink cold drinks
- take them into a cool environment for a brief time
- keep them away from a smoky environment
Homeopathic Trio of remedies for Croup:
Although these are the ‘go to’ remedies for croup, if you’re at all familiar with homeopathy, you’ll remember that homeopaths treat the person, not the illness, so depending on the symptoms you may need any one, or all three of these remedies: Aconite, Spongia and Hepar sulph.
Aconite is your first choice. It works for those attacks that seem to appear from nowhere. Typically the croup comes on before midnight and is scary enough to frighten both the child and the parent! Many children won’t need any additional remedies after a dose of Aconite. If you don’t have this remedy to hand however, don’t bother giving it the next day. Aconite works best in the first few hours of inflammation, so if you’ve missed that window, move on to the second choice remedy: Spongia.
You can give Spongia if you find that 15 minutes after Aconite, the child is not much better. Spongia is a great remedy for a dry barking cough that sounds almost like a saw going through wood, so typical in croup. It is the second remedy to give after Aconite or the first to use if the barking cough has been coming on slowly.
Hepar sulph is the third choice of remedy and may be indicated towards morning, a day or two after the start of the infection or at the end of the infection when the mucous loosens and the cough is wet and rattling.
How to give the remedy:
If you have a 6c or 30c potency give a pill every 15 minutes if necessary or every time your child wakes. In homeopathy, less is better, so stop as the symptoms improve.
Some children do have a susceptibility to croup, meaning that, each time the child gets a cold, he or she develops croup. If so, constitutional remedies will help prevent the recurrence, but require the expert advice of a homeopath.
If symptoms do not respond to treatment:
Croup often responds really well to treatment with homeopathic and conventional medicine but occasionally symptoms can worsen. If while you are nursing your child they do not show any improvement and you see these symptoms developing call your GP or NHS 111:
· rapid breathing
· effortful breathing
· the muscles in their chest and neck pull in when they breathe
· their nostrils flare when they breathe
· they are pale and lethargic (floppy or more tired than normal)
· they have a high temperature above 38.5°C.
If your child has any one of the symptoms below CALL 999
• blue lips • unresponsive • struggling to breathe • drooling or not able to swallow.
For more information on homeopathy and how it can treat your children please call me on 07810 464527 or email at email@example.com.