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Asthma and Croup

EimearDee profile image

Hi there, this is my first post and I suppose I am really just looking for some advice or tips from parents who have had experience in dealing with this. My son is 2 1/2 and since he was around 9mo has been experiencing "Asthma like" symptoms. At 13 months he was admitted to hospital for 3 days, and kept on Oxygen for 2 following a breathing attack of sorts. Since then we have been taking Becotide (daily) and Ventolin (when required). In the subsequent year and a half, we have been to A&E approx 8 times, 3 of these times, by ambulance as his breathing had become so laboured. Needless to say these experiences have been quite terrifying for us and our son alike, and I am getting very frustrated that there seems to be nothing I can do to prevent these episodes. He is on Montelukast also for the last 9 months, which I had thought had made a real difference, until 2 days ago, when we ended up in A&E once more. His Asthma attacks predominantly occur in Autumn/Winter, though not exclusively. We generally receive nebs and/or Dex in the hospital, followed by course of Prednesol or increased Becotide intake. The strange thing I have found however, and where some advice would be greatly appreciated is around, the Croup like stridor sounds he makes in the immediate aftermath of the "Asthma Attack". I find often by the time we get to Hospital, the Ventolin has worked to an extent, or the nebs in the Ambulance, and we are left with a little boy who presents as "croupy". His breathing attacks do not start with barking cough or stridor, but much more a kin to Asthma attacks. I often find myself trying to justify our presence in the hospital, and advising medical staff that the attack itself was not in any way croup- like initially, and advising them that it is as though his airways have become inflamed in the immediate aftermath. He does not have a cough before the event, and he never has one the day after either. The fantastic medical team only see what they are presented with however, so often I find I receive advice around Croup as a viral infection, Asthma as impacting lungs, which I am acutely aware of at this point. As we head back into the Winter months, I am wondering if anybody has experienced anything similar and has advice around preventative measures we could take, or indeed has experienced this Asthma or Croup scenario and can offer any suggestions on how to manage it? Apologies for long post

2 Replies
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Hi EimearDee

Sorry to hear your son has been in and out of hospital. When this does happen, try not to panic (easier said than done) as it can make symptoms worse. Croup affects 3% of children a year mostly between 6 months and 3 years and boys have it more commonly than girls and there are more hospital cases between Sept and Dec and the only treatment is Dex.

We hear this quite a lot on our helpline, as asthma and croup present similarly and sometimes it's difficult to differentiate between them, however your son is on the right treatments for asthma and croup.

Diagnosis of asthma for children under 5 is difficult, because they are unable to do any of tests that can confirm it, so it's important to continue with the inhalers because if it is asthma then it is important to build up the protection against inflammation. It might be worth asking your GP for a specialist referral since he's had 8 admissions if this hasn't already been done.

Do call our specialist nurse team on 0300 222 5800 (Mon-Fri 9-5) if you would like further advice and support.

Hope that helps,


Hi there

I’ve come across your post while searching these forums and I literally could have written it myself!

Currently in the exact same situation - I was wondering if you now have any answers or a different course of treatment that has worked for your child?

Thanks In advance!

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