Do you know what stridor is? I DO!
So maybe I’m the last mom on the planet to know what stridor is, but just in case you aren’t familiar, I’ll share my weekend with you….
My son woke up early Friday morning with the obvious signs of croup. The barking seal breathing, etc. Only this was different from our previous croup experience because he was having a serious struggle with breathing. His stomach was concaving with every breath and he was acting lathargic. At this point, it was 3 a.m. and while I wanted to jump in the car to head to the ER (which I now know I should have done), I wanted to see my highly trusted pediatrician.
For the next few hours, we rotated him between the steam shower and outside air. Gave him popsicles and tried to stay calm.
Finally it was 8 a.m. and I was the first in line for my pediatirician’s office. We walk in and the secretary simply said “is that him breathing?”
“Yes, it is.” I responded.
Within 5 seconds, we were surrounded by nurses with an oxygen machine and steroid injections.
I’m completely freaked at this point.
My pediatrician quickly came in and sent us to Saint Francis.
We were admitted for the next 24 hours.
So here’s what stridor is:
Stridor is an abnormal, high-pitched, musical breathing sound caused by a blockage in the throat or voice box (larynx). It is usually heard when taking in a breath.
Children are at higher risk of airway blockage because they have narrower airways than adults. In young children, stridor is a sign of airway blockage and must be treated right away to prevent total airway obstruction.
The airway can be blocked by an object, swelling of the tissues of the throat or upper airway, or spasm of the airway muscles or the vocal cords.
In our case, it was caused by the sweling of the tissues of the upper airway. It’s a very serious, sudden illness that is DANGEROUS. My take on it is that it’s a hard core form of croup.
So I asked our doctor:
Is this a sign of asthma?
No, it doesn’t have anything to do with the lungs.
Is he more prone to get stridor in the future?
Not necessarily. This may be a one time occurence, but if it does happen again take him straight to the Emergency Room.
Is it contagious?
Yes, stridor is a virus. BUT, this virus effects every kid so differently, that you may not even know that they have it.
My doctor also said they see stridor more often during sudden weather changes like summer to fall. There was one other case of stridor on our floor at Saint Francis.
The good news is that we were released only 24 hours later and the last 4 hours he was running around the room half hyper, half roid-raged.
My advice to you is that if you just know something is wrong, something IS wrong. You can never overreact when it comes to your child’s health and safety.