FIRST AID: Recognising and dealing with croup

St John Ambulance gives advice on how to recognise and deal with croup                     (PA Photo)
St John Ambulance gives advice on how to recognise and deal with croup (PA Photo)
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St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity has teamed up with The News to bring you some simple, but life-saving, first aid tips.

Croup is a childhood condition where there is inflammation of the windpipe and the voice box.

What to look for:

1. Distressed breathing

2. A short, barking cough

3. A rasping noise when breathing in

4. A croaky voice

5. Blue-grey skin (due to lack of oxygen)

What to do:

n Sit the child on your knee, supporting their back, and calmly reassure them.

n If the croup is severe, the breathing is distressed and not improving, and the child has a high temperature call 999 or 112 for emergency medical help. They may have epiglottitis – inflammation and swelling flap of tissue that sits beneath the tongue at the back of the throat. Its main function is to close over the windpipe (trachea) while you’re eating, to prevent food entering your airways.

n Monitor their breathing and level of response until help arrives.

As the nation’s leading first aid charity, St John Ambulance believes that nobody should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it. St John Ambulance teaches people first aid so that they can be the difference.

For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website sja.org.uk offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.