I am not a medical professional so if you think your child has croup, either ring 111 out of hours or see your GP!
One of the worst things about being a parent is having poorly children. Erin has had a few times where she’s been really very poorly or hurt herself quite badly in the past and some situations especially have been scary as hell. Just last week we had another scare and it came out of absolutely nowhere.
On Tuesday I noticed that Erin’s voice was a bit raspy and it sounded like she was getting a bit of a sore throat. A bit later that day she told me her throat hurt but she was absolutely fine in herself and it didn’t seem like anything was really affecting her. She went to bed like normal at around 8pm and she seemed quite happily asleep. We actually joked that she was doing better than the previous evening because all she did then was wriggle around for what seemed like hours.
John had gone for an early night and I was downstairs watching television and working. At around 10pm I heard John get up and move around so I paused the TV to see if I could hear what was going on. I heard her crying and coughing a bit. John is usually the only one who can settle Erin at night so I went back to what I was doing. Then, maybe 10-15 minutes later I heard it again and thought maybe Erin had been sick. When I turned the sound off on the TV I heard how bad the cough was. Instantly the idea of croup popped into my head.
Erin had never had croup before but I knew that it was like hearing a seal barking and this was exactly what Erin sounded like. I made a super quick call to my mum and she agreed with me. At that point, John came downstairs was a very distressed and upset Erin who clung to me like she couldn’t get close enough.
Erin’s cough was so bad that it was clearly hurting her. She was crying uncontrollably, sweaty, in pain and panicking like I’d never seen before. Erin was struggling to get a breath and we very quickly called 111 for some advice. While John was on the phone, I tried to calm Erin down and kept her sat up because laying down always makes coughs a lot worse. The phone call seemed to last such a long time but eventually they said they would send out a first responder seeing as Erin was really struggling to breath. We didn’t know what would happen so John threw some extra clothes etc. into a bag in case we had to go to hospital.
In only about 10 minutes a lovely man arrived and Erin being Erin, perked up very quickly! We’d explained someone like a doctor was going to come and make sure she was okay. Erin LOVES anything and anyone medical and telling her what was going on helped to calm her down. By this point, Erin’s breathing had calmed down a bit but she was still in pain and crying a lot.
The first responder was amazing with Erin and really thoroughly checked her over. After hearing the cough he very quickly mentioned croup but said there really wasn’t a lot to be done. Erin’s heart rate was faster than it should have been but we now think she was having a panic attack during all of the coughing that woke her up. Something like that and not being able to breath would be scary as an adult so it’s no wonder that Erin was terrified.
I cannot thank the first responder enough. He laughed and joked with Erin, chatted to her and showed her his medical bag. After she had finally calmed down she went off to find the ‘lungs’ she’d made at school the previous week. Although there was actually nothing he could do, the first repsonder said it was good that we called because obviously a 3 year old struggling to breath really could have been a lot more serious. We were advised to call back if she got worse through the night and also to go to our GP first thing in the morning to make sure Erin’s stats were still all okay.
That night John and Erin slept on the couch because we had to keep her sat up. I think I ended up going to bed at 1am and getting up at 7am so I was quite lucky. Erin coughed a lot that night and I think only slept from 3-6am.
The doctor confirmed that Erin had croup and again, said it would go away on it’s own. Erin had a couple of spells where she slept on me on the couch during the day and I finally managed to put her in bed at 11pm. I only put her in bed because she’d slept on me for 2 hours without coughing or waking herself up so figured it was worth trying. Luckily, she slept the whole night and woke up so much better and asking to go to nursery.
I wanted to write this post because we were terrified when Erin woke up coughing so badly that she couldn’t breathe. Knowing what could be happening and what to do first would have really helped us.
PIN IT FOR LATER