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Pseudo-croup

Inflammation and swelling of the mucous membrane under the vocal cords in children, with hoarseness, a yelping cough and difficult, noisy breathing. The condition occurs almost exclusively in children between the ages of one and five, and begins in the early evening; the condition is usually allergic. After a slight cold in the nose hoarseness and the yelping cough begin in the evening. The child becomes anxious and constricted; breathing is inhibited and associated with chest contractions. The temperature is usually slightly high. The clinical picture resembles that of diphtheria, a rarer and more serious disorder. There are no complications in normal pseudo-croup; children often react to a cold in the nose in this way. It is important that the child should rest, and not panic about the condition. Inhaling vapour can help to clear things up, as can sharing a warm shower with the child. Increased swelling of the membranes can sometimes cause serious constriction and oxygen deficiency, in which case a stay in hospital is necessary for further observation and possible artificial respiration.

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