Coughing – When Does It Become Dangerous?

Coughing – When Does It Become Dangerous?

Seasonal changes are typically enjoyed by people especially due to the change in clothes, food, and schedules that come with it. You are probably tired of summer at the end of August are looking forward to the start of chilly winds and hot beverages.

The transition from summer to autumn and winter is exciting for everyone from children to adults. Imagine how boring would life be if there were no such changes and you had to live in the same season all year round.

Fortunately, that does not happen. Countries with the exception of ones with harsh climates get all of the four seasons. Changes in season are celebrated with activities and festivals differently in these countries.
The only thing that can break the joy here and keep you out of the fun is catching the seasonal diseases or allergies – the only negative and disliked effect of seasonal changes.

Just like spring and summer begin with problems for pollen allergic people, winter and autumn can be problematic too. What is the most common health problem that comes in your mind when you think about winters and chilly weather?

Catching a cold can be one of the most frustrating things in autumn and winter. Flu, sore throat, high temperature, and other effects of cold can make you unable to enjoy the changes or even concentrate on your normal work.

This can make anyone dislike the changes. In addition, the worst thing about colds is that you can get another viral attack in the same season. People with weaker immunities often complain about this happening to them.

Since the virus causing cold and all its effects are highly contagious, no one can be completely safe from getting sick in winter even multiple times. There is also another thing that you might not have heard of but see very often in winters.
Often, you spot people coughing in an unusual way in winters, especially the kids. The sound of a cough will resemble that of a seal making noises or a dog barking, unlike a normal cough that comes with a cold.

If you see someone coughing that way, the first thing you would want to do is to stay away from the person as it is a case of what is called croup cough – a term an astounding number of people are unfamiliar with.


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A croup cough is a viral infection that is prevalent usually in the autumn and winter seasons. It begins with symptoms similar to a common cold but can have comparatively severer effects. Though adults can have a croup cough, it is mostly seen in children.

It is important to maintain distance from a person having croup cough since it is highly contagious, can be difficult to treat and has serious effects especially on people with poor immunities or deficiencies due to bad diets.

What is Croup Cough?

A croup cough is by far one of the most widespread respiratory illnesses in children. According to studies, 35% of the children between the ages of 2-5 can develop serious health risks due to a croup cough attack.

Another study showed that despite the fact croup cough is common and can be deadly for toddlers and children if not treated, many parents do not know about it.

Most of these parents tend to give their children normal antibiotics and take is like a normal cough you have during a cold.

In such cases, parents are often late in getting proper treatment. A croup cough should not be ignored for even a few days in children as they have weaker immunities and can be at a higher risk of other respiratory infections. So, what exactly happens in a croup cough?

The infection affects your larynx, trachea, and bronchi in the lungs which results in changing patterns of breathing. This disturbance in normal breathing makes it harder to inhale the needed capacity of oxygen and makes the voice hoarse with a croup cough.

This particular type of cough can either be spasmodic or viral. According to the statistics, croup cough is usually viral in the United States. This is why it is also contagious in almost all cases.

In other cases, the cough can also be spasmodic which means it can be triggered by another infection rather than caused by it. Typically, many of the respiratory infections are linked and trigger each other when the infected person is not taking appropriate measure in curing them.

This is another case why a croup cough should be taken care of especially in children. The scenarios of children are mentioned the time and again to highlight how a croup cough can be more dangerous to them as they experience it differently.
Full-blown effects of a croup cough are rarely seen in teenagers and adults but that does not mean they cannot happen. Delayed treatments can cause all the effects of a croup cough in people from the ages of 16 and above.

The same delayed time in children can have far worse effects. For example, since many of the respiratory infections are spasmodic, they can trigger other infection. Children can develop such health conditions easily.

Researchers showed that a child has very high chances of getting both of the ears infected when having a respiratory infection if it is neglected for long by the parents. If you think about it, every part connected to the throat can be infected because of a croup cough.

Additionally, croup cough in children is scarier because many of the kids are unable to convey what they are feeling. Naturally, toddlers are not going to inform you that they are having croup cough or any symptoms of it.

It is one of the reasons why parents may accidentally neglect their child’s condition. Seasonal changes are not very enjoyable for such young children who are more likely to get sick rather than have fun because of the cold.

What are the Symptoms of Croup Cough?

A croup cough cannot be diagnosed immediately after a child gets it. In the beginning, you might confuse a croup cough with a common cold attack as it starts off with similar symptoms.

The person getting croup cough will experience a runny nose, mild fever, sore throat, and nasal congestion.

As the croup virus spreads, it starts inflaming the trachea and lining of the voice box. This is when the first distinguishable symptom of a croup cough appears as the voice of the infected person starts changing.

Other giveaway symptoms of a croup cough include:

  • Laryngitis (losing the voice)
  • Higher temperature
  • Stridor (raspy and loud breathing)
  • A cough that resembles a seal’s bark
  • Fatigue

These the symptoms that are seen at the beginning of a croup cough. Usually over the counter medicines can be helpful at this stage. However, the symptoms can be worsened over the course of time which requires breathing therapies.

The symptoms that occur at this stage are:

  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Flaring nostrils
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fast breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Retractions in abdominal muscles (as the infected muscles struggle to breathe)
  • Bluish hue at the lips and fingernails
  • Severe headache

Signs such as these require immediate medical attention as it can cause other conditions such as pneumonia, chest infection and ear infections. Many times, mucus blocks the bronchial passageways along with the shrinkage of the windpipe.

It is better to avoid this from happening as it will require hospitalization. Fortunately, you will not reach this stage if you take effective medicines on earlier stages.

Make sure to take preventive measures or manage yourself when someone is having it near you to protect yourself or anyone you know from a croup cough in any seasonal changes

Such measures include avoiding getting in contact with an infected person, wearing a mask and not standing too close to anyone during the changing seasons.



Hilary Jensen

Hilary is a Food Science and Nutrition graduate with specialization in diet planning and weight loss. She enjoys reading and writing on Food, Nutrition, Diet, Weight Loss, and General Health.

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