Take Note of These Prevention Tips Against Croup

little girl washing her hands

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  • Handwashing is a very important strategy in disease prevention, and is a simple method that can lower your and your child’s exposure to disease-causing germs, reducing your chances of being sick and spreading the disease to others
  • Croup is usually caused by a viral infection; good hygiene is extremely important, since it serves as the body’s main defense against diseases

While it may seem impossible to protect your children from the many types of viruses that can attack their bodies,1 there are simple yet effective croup precautions that you, as a parent, can follow.

Teach Your Children the Importance of Proper Handwashing

According to the Mayo Clinic, croup prevention should involve the same steps that you take when preventing contagious diseases like colds and flu.2 Given that croup is usually caused by a viral infection,3 good hygiene is extremely important, since it serves as the body’s main defense against diseases.4

Handwashing is a very important strategy in disease prevention,5 and is a simple method that can lower your and your child’s exposure to disease-causing germs, reducing your chances of being sick and spreading the disease to others. For handwashing to be highly effective for potentially preventing illnesses, follow these proper handwashing guidelines:

1. Use warm, running water and a mild, triclosan-free soap.

2. Work up a good lather, all the way up to your wrists, scrubbing for at least 15 or 20 seconds (most people wash for only about six seconds).

3. Make sure you cover all surfaces, including the back of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and around and below your fingernails.

4. Rinse thoroughly under running water.

5. Thoroughly dry your hands, ideally using a paper towel. In public places, also use a paper towel to open the door as a protection from germs that may be on the handle.

Striking a balance and not becoming fussy when it comes to washing your hands is a must. Remember that the skin is an important primary barrier against germs. Too-frequent handwashing, especially in dry environments, dehydrates the skin and increases your risk of illness by allowing potentially harmful bacteria to enter the body.

Avoid Antibacterial Soap at All Costs

While antibacterial soaps may look effective, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) debunks this claim, saying that “[T]here is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water.”6 Antibacterial soap was also shown to prompt the development of drug-resistant bacteria. Furthermore, a compound in antibacterial soap called triclosan is linked to complications and harmful health effects such as:7,8

Allergies

Thyroid dysfunction

Endocrine disruption

Weight gain

Inflammatory responses

Liver and kidney tumors (triclosan aggravates their growth)9

Increased use of antibacterial soap was also connected to changes in hormone regulation and interference with fetal development in pregnant women.10,11,12

Do not use alcohol-based products for handwashing, either. These products may significantly lower bacterial diversity in your hands, potentially eliminating naturally occurring protective species and increasing the possibility that your hands might carry potential pathogens.13

Other Croup Prevention Techniques to Try

Apart from proper handwashing, other notable ways to avoid croup include:14,15,16

Keeping the patient away from anyone who’s sick or showing symptoms of a cold or croup

Avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke

Reminding people who want to touch a baby or child to properly wash their hands before doing so

Ensuring that the patient does not have close contact with other adults and children who have upper respiratory infections. Although this is quite difficult, parents should try to limit direct contact

Preventing sick infants or children from going to daycare or school so as to avoid the spreading of croup to other children

MORE ABOUT CROUP

Croup: Introduction

What Is Croup?

Is Croup Contagious?

Croup in Adults

Croup Symptoms

Croup Causes

Types of Croup

Croup Treatment

Essential Oils for Croup

Croup Prevention

Croup FAQ


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