Well, just when I thought that Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease was the worst it could get in toddler illness, my son developed croup.
Croup, which is inflammation of the trachea, is caused by a group of viruses that mascarade as the common cold, but in young children can turn into much more.
You know your child has croup when his or her cough starts sounding like a weird bark. You may also hear a gasping noise when they cry, talk, exert themselves and in really bad cases at rest. My son had a fever of around 101 and was fatigued, clingy and had a poor appetite.
My son’s croup started on a Wednesday. His cough had the trademark bark noise and I knew right away he had croup. What I didn’t know was what to do. Do I need to get him to a doctor right away? Is this something to care for at home? I just had no idea – and when it comes to your kid breathing, you don’t want to be guessing.
So I called the doctor’s office and talked to a nurse. She assured me unless he was clearly having difficulty breathing, he was ok and set up an appointment for the next morning.
That night was rough. He couldn’t sleep – he was wheezing, barking and generally miserable. Myself or my husband was in the room with him at all times – one because he needed us there for comfort – and two because we needed to hear him breathing in case he started struggling.
The next morning his doctor took one listen to him and immediately said he needed steroids. He got the one dose steroid treatment and by that afternoon was feeling much better.
But this croup virus was not nice. It came back over the weekend, sending us to urgent care and getting him on a dose of 3 days of steroids.
Now he’s on day 2 of being off of medicine and feeling just fine. I’m finally convinced he can go back to school. I’m terrified of what illness he will bring home next, but its clear that he needs that outlet and needs to have fun.
Oh, and if you thought croup was just a childhood disease, think again. I’m on day 4 and just now starting to get my voice back. While I never developed a barking noise, my throat definitely has been very swollen and I’ve felt worse than I have in a long time. Whenever I get these illnesses several days after my son does, I always am shocked that he did so freakin’ well considering how crappy I feel. If I was 1, I would not handle feeling that bad as well as he does. My little man is a trooper!