What can we do at home if our child has laryngitis? Find out what laryngitis is in children, what its causes, symptoms are and how it is usually treated.
The truth is that it can arise at any time of the year, although it is true that during the autumn and winter months it tends to be more common and common. Suddenly, your child wakes up at night with a dry, irritating, hoarse and hoarse cough. You feel hot from the fever, and sometimes it can be hard for you to breathe in the air, so that every time you try, you get an uncomfortable coughing fit. We are talking about the most common symptoms of laryngitis in children, a very common respiratory and contagious disease.
It is a tremendously common disease, more common in cold months.
What is laryngitis?
As you might probably suspect, laryngitis consists of inflammation of the larynx, a tubular organ belonging to the respiratory tract that is located between the trachea and the pharynx, made up of a total of 9 pieces of cartilage and cone-shaped. , internally lined with a mucous membrane.
Specifically, it is located in the lower part of the throat, and in it we find the vocal cords. For this reason, aphonia (and temporary loss of voice) is common as a result of irritation and inflammation caused by the disease.
It is characterized as an acute respiratory disease in which inflammation of the larynx occurs. As we will see below, the vast majority of laryngitis are caused by respiratory viruses, although it can also be caused by bacteria.
In the particular case of infantile laryngitis, it tends to affect especially children between 6 months and 6 years of age, although it is clear that it can also appear at any time during the infantile stage.
What are the causes of infantile laryngitis?
Both in laryngitis in children and in laryngitis that appears in adulthood, in most cases it is due to infections. In other words, practically all the cases are of infectious origin.
When the cause is of infectious origin (produced by a respiratory virus), the infection is produced by the contact of a healthy child with a carrier of it. This infection occurs through the droplets of contaminated secretion that are expelled when talking or coughing, or by being in close contact with the discharge of the carrier.
The most frequent respiratory viruses are known as Parainfluenzae -or parainfluenza-, a set of viruses that are characterized by being the main culprits of common respiratory infections, such as sinusitis, rhinitis, bronchitis or pharyngitis. In addition, they can also cause bronchiolitis and pneumonia (produced this time by the type 3 parainfluenza virus).
Only on some occasions is the cause found in microorganisms of bacterial origin.
What symptoms does it produce and which are the most common?
A characteristic sign of laryngitis -both in children and adults- is that it usually tends to get worse at night, so that as night approaches it is very common for symptoms to worsen.
When it comes to the most common symptoms of laryngitis in children, at first the child may have a runny nose and a fever. Then the appearance of a dry and strong cough similar to the barking of a dog is normal, which is why it is usually known as a barking cough, causing in turn hoarseness or hoarseness.
Stridor may appear, which consists of the appearance of a hoarse noise when breathing, every time the child tries to catch air to breathe.
On the other hand, although it is not so common, only on some occasions inflammation can cause respiratory distress, by hindering the normal entry of air. As a consequence, you can observe rapid breathing in the child, in which the chest sinks or the ribs are marked.
Luckily, in most cases, laryngitis tends to last between 2 to 3 days, with symptoms disappearing little by little.
How is it treated?
There is no specific treatment for curing laryngitis, especially if it is laryngitis caused by viruses. Only in case of bacterial laryngitis would it be necessary to administer antibiotics, but provided that the pediatrician has prescribed and prescribed them.
Since inflammation causes irritation and dryness in the larynx, it is very important that the little one breathes cool moist air. For example, cold saline sprays (with medication or not) tend to quickly improve symptoms, although they should be prescribed by the pediatrician.
Anti-inflammatory medications can help decrease inflammation and reduce the symptoms associated with it. Although they must also have been prescribed by the pediatrician.
What you can do at home to help your child
Once you follow the recommendations indicated by the pediatrician, there are some tips and habits that you can follow at home to help your child feel better during the days that the most common symptoms of laryngitis last. Take note:
- Avoid that the environment at home is dry. For this you can put water tanks on the radiators and use a humidifier or vaporizer.
- If you don’t have a humidifier or vaporizer at home, you can turn on the hot water tap in the bathroom and sit with the little one out of the shower for 15 minutes, so that they breathe in the steam.
- Believe it or not, breathing cold air can help improve symptoms. To do this, by sheltering your child well, you can take him out of the window to breathe the air from the street.
On the other hand, remember the most important thing: do not administer antibiotics, cough syrups or any other medicine if it has not been prescribed by the pediatrician. In case of high fever, and always under the recommendation of the medical specialist, you can administer an antipyretic.