Never Ignore Your Doctor's Advice About Your Blood Pressure

I have always been in pretty good health, so I was surprised one day when my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit high. She told me to begin watching my salt intake, start exercising, and to try to relax. Well, I intended to follow her advice when I left her office, but the next day I was back to my same habits. I kept using the salt shaker and didn't begin an exercise routine like I had planned. When I went for my next check-up, she told me that my blood pressure was even higher and approaching a dangerous level. I had to begin a blood pressure medication to manage it. I wanted to create a blog to share my story and remind people to listen to their doctors' advice. If a few lifestyle changes can improve your health, then you should make them.

Viral Croup And Your Toddler: 4 Important Aspects A Parent Should Know

Health & Medical Articles

As a parent, you've probably heard about croup and how it mostly affects infants and toddlers. If your toddler has become ill with an upper respiratory infection, perhaps you suspect he or she has developed viral croup. Your child's pediatrician can make a positive diagnosis and recommended treatment. Meanwhile, there are several aspects you should know to better understand this medical condition and help your child recover. Here is what your child's pediatrician would want you to know:

1. Understand What Viral Croup Actually Is

If the doctor has made a conclusive diagnosis of croup, you may be unfamiliar of what this actually means. In layman's terms, viral croup is when the child's airways, including the larynx and trachea, become inflamed due to an upper respiratory virus. It may begin with a common cold, the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or the measles. It often occurs during late autumn and throughout the winter. Children often recover at home, without complications. However, in more severe cases, hospitalization may be required, especially if the child's breathing becomes compromised.

2. Recognize the Symptoms of Viral Croup in a Toddler

The symptoms of viral croup often becomes more noticeable at night. Here is what to look for:

  • Elevated Fever: Some children may develop a mild or low grade fever, while others have no fever at all.

  • Hoarseness or Raspy Voice

  • Unusual Sounding Cough: Your child's coughing may sound peculiar (like a barking seal) because the airways are swollen and inflamed.

  • Noisy Breathing Sounds: If your toddler has croup, you may notice some high-pitched squeaky noises as he or she inhales.

Barring any major complications, these croup symptoms should diminish after several days.

3. Understand How Croup Is Generally Treated

Most mild cases of viral croup are easily treated at home, under a doctor's instruction. To ease your child's symptoms and make him or her feel more comfortable, consider placing a cool mist humidifier in the bedroom. This will add moisture to the air and ease breathing. Remember to disinfect the humidifier routinely, as it may become a breeding ground for bacteria.

If you do not have a humidifier, take your child into the bathroom, shut the door, and run a steamy shower. The steam will help open the airways and provide comfort. Always supervise your toddler around steam.

Your child's pediatrician will also recommend that your child takes in extra fluids. This too will keep airways moist and help ease the coughing.

If your child has a fever, the pediatrician may recommend a children's dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, you must not give your child aspirin when recovering from a viral infection, as it has been linked to a rare condition known as Reye's Syndrome in youngsters. 

Children with severe symptoms of croup may need hospitalization. At the hospital, a child may be placed in an oxygen tent to ease breathing. Oral steroids may also be administered to reduce inflammation.

4. Know When To Seek Emergency Medical Treatment 

Although a mild case of viral croup will most likely be treated at home, in rare cases, the condition may present a serious or even life-threatening situation. It's important to understand when emergency medical intervention is needed. If your child develops a high fever, consult the pediatrician at once.

If your child shows difficulty breathing, his or her airways may be extremely swollen. This may warrant a trip to the emergency room, so do not delay. If the mouth or lips have turned blue, this indicates a medical emergency, and your child needs to be taken to the hospital to see a pediatric doctor immediately.  


5 December 2016