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Children's health

13th Jan 2022

Children testing positive for Omicron variant are developing croup

Kat O'Connor

Children being infected with the Omicron variant are now suffering from croup.

Dr. Amy Edwards urged parents not to worry. She stressed that even though croup sounds scary, it is never as bad as it seems.

She told Today, “As pediatricians, seeing more kids with croup and bronchiolitis is oddly reassuring because we’ve been dealing with those conditions for our entire careers.”

Symptoms of croup include a harsh cough like a barking sound.

Other symptoms include loud or rasping breathing, hoarseness, aches and pains, runny eyes and nose.

Children may also suffer from a fever.

Children who have croup tend to recover within two days. The HSE advises parents to visit their GP if they suspect their child has croup.

Symptoms may be mild, but they can worsen quickly.

Parents can help their children recover by keeping them upright and not letting them lie down when possible.

Make sure they drink plenty of fluids.

It is important not to put your children in a hot room. Parents have also been advised not to let their children inhale steam.

The HSE stressed, “Do not give your child any cough medicines, herbal remedies, or any medications that have not been prescribed by a doctor.”

Reassuring and staying calm will help comfort them too.

Dr. Buddy Creech, a pediatric infectious disease expert, told Today, “Little kids’ airways are so narrow that it takes far less inflammation to clog them. When a child with tiny, inflamed airways breathes, it makes a distinctive noise and can result in a cough that sounds like a dog or a seal.”

He explained that both he and his colleagues have seen “croup-like presentations” in kids who have tested positive for Covid-19. But children tend to recover quickly and at home.