A respiratory illness common among children that changes their breathing is called croup. It is identified by the hoarse voice and croup cough that it causes. Children with croup have infected vocal cords, windpipe and bronchial tubes.
If children continue to suffer the symptoms of croup even three days after the illness sets in, it is considered to be contagious. If it is merely viral, its symptoms are a sore throat or cough. However, it hardly ever causes the same difficult breathing that children with croup experience.
Croup occurs after the child contracts a cold virus and the trachea is constricted and irritated. When the wind pipe limits air flow to the lungs, it results in a barky cough.
A child suffering from infectious croup has common cold-like symptoms, such a fatigue, runny nose, sore throat, mild fever,nasal congestion and fatigue. When the virus spreads, the throat begins to get inflamed, narrows the voice box and trachea. This leads to croup’s signature symptoms like raspy breathing or stridor and a barking type of cough. This form of croup goes on for about seven days with its symptoms getting better within 48 hours.
Natural Remedies to Treat Croup in Babies
Usually, croup symptoms are so mild that they can be treated at home with the following ingredients found at home:
1. Breathe outdoor air
Children suffering with croup should be allowed to go into the outdoors and breathe cold air. Alternatively, take your child to the fridge and put his face in the freezer for a few minutes. You can also take your child out for a car ride with the windows open.
2. Steam treatment
Steam treatment should be followed up by exposing the child to cold air, or steam treatment won’t help. The hot water will help reduce nasal congestion which will ultimately help relieve the cough. Let your child inhale the steam several times a day for quick croup treatment.
3. Essential oils
To cure a respiratory infection like croup, essential oils in a vaporizer works well.Add cinnamon, clove or thyme oil. Ask your child to inhale the vapours in a basin of hot water and essential oil of choice and covered with a large towel. Before you choose an essential oil, speak to a professional so that he can tell you which oil is safe for your child.
4. Warm chest compress
Use eucalyptus or peppermint oil on the chest to help open up the airways. Remember to mix it with a carrier oil.
Ginger is known to treat a cough and cold, so it helps relieve the nasal congestion related with croup. Once nasal congestion is relieved, ginger will help improve a child’s overall health.
Directions:Children can get the benefit of ginger by eating it raw mixed with salt. Alternatively, they can drink a cup of ginger tea, boiled with holy basil and ginger. A few cups of this tea will definitely help them get over croup.
Read More: Health Benefits of Ginger for Babies
6. Coconut water
By drinking coconut water, children can benefit from it when suffering from croup. Coconut water gets rid of the risk of infections to a great extent, and reduces the amount of mucus in the throat. So, if your kid suffers from croup, give him as much coconut water during the day as possible.
Read More: Health Benefits of Coconut Water for Babies
Honey‘s antibiotic quality makes it a very effect remedy for croup among kids. It gets rid of respiratory problems or mucus associated with croup. Due to its antibiotic nature, honey can also suppress viral and bacterial infections and relieve the other symptoms of croup.
Directions: Pour two teaspoons of honey in a glass of hot water. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice to this solution and drink it every day. Herbal tea, green tea or chamomile tea are best for remedying croup.
8. Herbal salve
The antibacterial quality of herbal salves helps keep infants and kids away from infections worsening in future. Herbal salves also help get rid of any breathing difficulties children may have due to croup.
Directions: For relief from croup, rub herbal salve on your child’s chest and watch it take effect in just five minutes.
9. Breast milk
Breast milk is considered to be the most nutritious for infants during the first few months of life. It contains essential minerals and vitamins to nurture babies’ immune system and overall health. For infants suffering from croup, breast milk is the best cure.
Read More: 31 Foods to Increase Breast Milk Supply
10. Vitamin C
Most cures of croup help by increasing the child’s immunity. One sure shot way of increasing your child’s immunity is to increase his intake of Vitamin C. There is a close relationship between Vitamin C and a strong immune system. So, foods rich in Vitamin C work well as effective natural remedies for relief from croup cough. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of Vitamin C, such as tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, celery and kiwi.
Directions: You can either give your child a fruit to eat every day, or make a smoothie of it and let your child enjoy it while he recovers from croup slowly and surely.
11. Detox bath
Here’s an unconventional home remedy for croup. A detox bath stimulates your child all over his body. It also helps him stop coughing and reduces his nasal congestion. In your child’s bath, be sure to add some ingredients that will have a positive impact on his croup. These include essential oils, apple cider vinegar and salt. Once added, place your child in the warm water and let him relax in it so that he gets relief not just for his croup symptoms but also any other physical ailments.
Seeing your child suffer from a respiratory disease can be very unnerving for parents. But don’t fear. The best remedies for this condition aren’t far away from you–in fact, they are all within close reach of you, in your kitchen. To know what to reach out to for croup relief, remember the ingredients mentioned here and use them, if ever you need to.