Stridor is medical shorthand for 'crowing', grunting, and wheezing brought on by sudden narrowing of the larynx due to infection or obstruction. The most appropriate action in such circumstances is to dial 999, give First Aid and Belladonna 30c every 5 minutes until help arrives.
Occasionally stridor is a symptom of acute epiglotitis (bacteria infection accompanied by high fever), which may require hospitalisation and assistance with breathing. If a foreign body has been inhaled, it should be located and removed or it may settle in the lungs and cause Pneumonia.
Croup is stridor following a cold. A child with croup becomes hoarse, breathless, and develops a hollow crowing Cough, usually worse in the middle of the night. If croup is accompanied by high Fever, treat as for acute epiglotitis.
- Child wakes in night, coughing, breathless and frightened Aconite 30c immediately, and again ½ hour later if child still awake
- If above symptoms persist after Aconite, give Spongia 30c and Hepar sulph. 30c alternately every hour for up to 3 doses each
Self-help: If child has croup, give the main meal of the day at lunch time, and a light supper in the evening. Humidify child's room or, during coughing attack, take child into the bathroom, close the windows and switch off the extractor fan, and turn on all the hot taps. Never leave a small child unaccompanied.