What is laryngitis in children

What is laryngitis?

Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx, in which the vocal cords lose their mobility, in connection with which the voice becomes hoarse or disappears altogether.

The disease occurs mainly in children up to three years (while adults are also at risk of the disease). The reason for this lies in the following: the children’s throat is not yet fully formed, and the bacteria easily penetrate the warm, moist environment of the throat mucosa, where they begin to multiply.

If your baby has laryngitis, do not panic and blame yourself for not seeing: every one has ever been ill, the main thing is to take measures in time and properly treat it.

Treatment of laryngitis in children is simple, but it requires close attention to changes in the condition of the child, regular medical examination and strict adherence to the instructions of the attending physician.

Forms of the disease

Laryngitis in children can develop in two forms:

This form arises mainly on the basis of viral diseases, is more common with:

  • pharyngitis (inflammation of the pharynx),
  • rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal cavity),
  • SARS.

In some cases, it can develop against the background of the influenza virus and even diphtheria or measles. In this case, laryngitis is often combined with tracheitis and bronchitis, and it can also be stenotic (when the walls of the larynx narrow).

Symptoms of acute laryngitis:

  • increased temperature (not in all cases);
  • sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose;
  • dry cough, eventually turning into whistling;
  • difficulty breathing with severe swelling of the mucous membranes.

When laryngitis occurs on the basis of the flu virus, traces of blood can be found in the mucus. In medical practice, this laryngitis is called hemorrhagic.


In the overwhelming majority of cases, this is a complication arising from the undertreated acute form of laryngitis. As a rule, if the disease has not cured in 2 weeks, it is considered chronic, and now it is much more difficult to cope with it.

However, the chronic form of laryngitis may occur due to a number of other factors:

  • the child breathes through the mouth, not the nose (the reasons may be different: allergens, tobacco smoke, dust);
  • regular hit of caustic gastric juice on the esophagus walls, resulting in irritation of the mucous membrane;
  • constant overstrain of the vocal cords (when the child is active, screaming and talking a lot, including on the street);
  • the presence of an inflammatory process (viral or fungal) in the lungs or bronchi.

Cough in chronic laryngitis is consistently dry, the voice remains hoarse, and if left untreated, growths can form on the vocal cords that negatively affect voice quality.

Varieties of laryngitis by severity

However, there is another classification of the disease according to the degree of severity.

In this case, laryngitis is divided into:


The mildest form of the disease, which is characterized by such symptoms as:

  • hoarseness
  • sore throat,
  • rare, dry, paroxysmal cough.

This form of laryngitis can be easily and quickly treated, even folk remedies can cope with it (gargling, inhalation), but even in this case it is necessary to show the child to the doctor for an accurate diagnosis.


In general, its symptoms are similar to those of catarrhal laryngitis, but are marked by more severe sore throat and increased cough.

Also, small growths appear in the larynx in the form of nodules (thickening of the laryngeal mucosa), which further interfere with the restoration of the vocal cords (therefore, after suffering a hypertrophic laryngitis from a child, hoarseness does not pass for a long time, until the person grows up).

This form of the disease must be treated strictly in accordance with the prescriptions of the attending physician.


The most severe form of laryngitis, in which the mucous membrane of the larynx becomes thinner and it becomes painful for the child to speak. He often coughs with sputum with blood marks and lumps, his voice becomes hoarse or disappears altogether.

Atrophic laryngitis is rare in children, and it should be treated under the strict supervision of a doctor.

What is laryngotracheitis?

Acute laryngitis has 4 degrees of stenosis (other names: false croup and laryngotracheitis).

Stenosis, as mentioned above, is edema, narrowing of the laryngeal lumen, a disease that affects children of all ages, especially from six months to 7 years. Curious statistical fact: about 2/3 of the cases are boys.

The characteristic symptoms of laryngotracheitis include:

  • barking cough
  • wheezing difficult breathing at any position of the body,
  • dyspnea,
  • enhanced sputum production
  • blue skin around the lips, nose, nails, hoarseness in the voice (but at the same time the throat may not hurt much),
  • loudness of cough depends on the size of the edema.

A quiet, weak cough does not always indicate that the child is almost healthy: the more laryngeal edema, the quieter the cough, and this is a sure sign of laryngotracheitis.

The severity of false cereals

First (compensated stenosis)

In addition to the typical symptoms of laryngitis, there is noise during exhalation, attacks of barking cough and shortness of breath, provoked by anxiety of the child or his crying.

Second (subcompensated stenosis)

The noise during breathing becomes louder, small children inflate the nostrils, when it is difficult for them to breathe, there is a slight blue in the skin (cyanosis), possibly increased sweating, tachycardia, temperature.

If you take a child’s blood for analysis, the results will show that its oxygen saturation is still normal.

Third (decompensated)

The child does not have enough air for active movements, he is restless, but he is sluggish and pale, it is difficult for him to lie down and sleep because of frequent coughing attacks, weak breathing difficulties, arrhythmia, depression in the sternum area occurs. The amount of oxygen in the blood is below normal.

Fourth (asphyxia)

A condition in which there is a high risk of death, when the child either barely breathes or cannot breathe at all, there is critically little oxygen in the blood, there is a strong gas contamination. Body cramps and coma may occur.

If you find your baby has symptoms of laryngotracheitis, immediately call an ambulance, because you cannot cope with this situation on your own.

When doctors offer hospitalization, it is better to agree: the most effective drugs and procedures will be prescribed in the hospital. Stenosis is a rapidly spreading inflammation, so the sooner you start treating it, the better.

How does allergic laryngitis manifest?

Laryngitis can be caused by an allergic reaction to any substance. This type of disease can be attributed to a separate classification.

Allergic laryngitis in children manifests itself as follows: edema occurs on the larynx or its part, the typical symptoms of laryngitis appear, at night asthma attacks can begin, as in stenosis, which also poses a risk to the health of the child.

However, in this situation, the treatment will be different from the treatment of false croup. Here, the doctor will have to not only remove the edema, but also to work on eliminating the causes of allergies.

When do you need to call an ambulance for your child?

An ambulance is required to call in case:

  • a child with symptoms of laryngitis is less than three years old (since the lower the age, the more severe the disease proceeds);
  • for any violations of the baby’s breathing;
  • when high temperature does not fall off more than a day;
  • with severe temperature tolerance;
  • in the presence of chronic diseases of the nervous system and allergies.

In addition, again, if you find the child has signs of laryngotracheitis, you must urgently seek emergency medical care!

Causes of disease

What most often causes laryngitis in children?

  1. Hypothermia of the throat or the whole body.
  2. Smoking (in this case refers to passive smoking);
  3. Too dry and hot air in the house.
  4. Disruption of the vocal cords or their overstrain.
  5. Severe stress that causes laryngeal edema (can develop into chronic, but with age it usually goes away).
  1. A protective reaction to drugs and / or sprays that provoked inflammation of the larynx.
  2. Infection: when it enters the body, the vocal cords swell, which is a protective function of the body, and thus block viruses or bacteria from damaging other organs (in this case, the primary disease should be treated, and laryngitis will disappear).
  3. Predisposition of the child to the disease. It can manifest itself both at the genetic level and as a result of the improper nutrition and lifestyle of the mother during pregnancy, which affected the strength of the immune system and the vocal cords.


For the diagnosis of laryngitis, medical specialists usually use the following methods:

  • medical examination;
  • identification of the alleged cause of the disease;
  • laryngoscopy (accurate information about the state of the laryngeal mucosa, the presence or absence of pus);
  • blood test (determined by viral or bacterial laryngitis);
  • mucosal swab (for pathogen detection).

How to cure a child of laryngitis?

Treatment of laryngitis in children must necessarily be carried out comprehensively, that is, not only with medicines or folk remedies, but all at once. It is also very important to create favorable conditions for recovery.

With timely complex treatment, laryngitis in children disappears in 5-7 days.

Conditions required for recovery

  1. During an exacerbation of the disease, it is important to provide the child with bed rest, the absence of stressful situations and to make sure that he does not speak (especially in a whisper, since the vocal cords are even more tense and irritated). (Treat this requirement with the utmost attention, because during the period of formation of the vocal cords, illnesses that are not treated properly should be especially dangerous).
  2. For the speedy disposal of the child from the disease, make sure that the room always has fresh, cool air (below 20 degrees) with a humidity of 50-70%.
  3. Protect your child from inhalation of tobacco smoke and other strong odors, as well as dust, pollen, animal hair and other allergens.
  4. You can walk with your child, provided that he has no fever, a bad cold and complications.

Remember that the treatment of laryngitis in children at home is possible only with the first degree of the disease, but to find out the exact diagnosis, you still have to consult a doctor. All other types and degrees of laryngitis are treated under the strict supervision of a physician.

Therapeutic diet

From food, it is recommended to give the child broths, mashed potatoes, decoctions, teas, fruit drinks, milk, mineral water without gas, and other food that does not get stuck in the throat and is easy to swallow. Drink should be plentiful, but not too cold and not too hot, you need to drink it in small sips.

All products that can cause an allergic reaction (citrus fruits, honey, chocolate, smoked foods, spicy foods, red fish and other food allergens) should be excluded.

Drug therapy

As for drugs, most often when laryngitis, doctors prescribe the following groups of drugs to young patients:

  • antipyretic and analgesic;
  • antihistamines (relieve swelling and soothe irritated mucous membranes);
  • antitussive (help cope with bouts of dry cough);
  • expectorant (remove sputum from the body with a wet cough);
  • sprays and lozenges for the throat.

What is laryngitis in children

Remember, all medications should be taken in accordance with the recommendations of the attending physician, also ensure that the funds do not cause allergic reactions.

With stenosis, all efforts should be directed to relieve inflammation of the larynx and restore normal breathing; for this, hot foot baths and alkaline inhalations can be given to the child.

In infectious laryngitis, antihistamines can be powerless, so doctors prescribe antibiotics or antiviral drugs (however, treatment with antibiotics is required only in very rare cases).

Sometimes doctors prescribe antibiotics to avoid possible complications, so if the child is diagnosed with laryngitis of the first degree, it is better not to resort to antibiotic therapy. Remember that antibiotics weaken the immune system, and if you can do without them – let the child’s body cope with the disease on its own).

In general, the benefit of steam inhalation is difficult to overestimate – all doctors confirm this. Steam inhalations are very effective and are used in children with chronic and acute laryngitis of the first and second degree.

The prohibition of the use of hot steam inhalations with complicated laryngitis is due to the fact that the already swollen narrow lumen of the larynx can be completely closed by mucus and growths swollen from heating.

Also remember, inhalation should not be done at a high temperature in a child – this is fraught with a deterioration in his condition.

The following saline and alkaline solutions are most effective for inhalation procedures:

  • salt solution (1

Herbal decoctions also help – they have an antibacterial effect: eucalyptus, sage, chamomile, and St. John’s wort (before use, check if your baby is allergic to these herbs).

If it is not possible to make a decoction, you can use eucalyptus oil, adding it to the inhaler.

Inhalation is recommended to do 3-5 times a day for 10-15 minutes, for the smallest it is better to use a nebulizer, it does not burn the skin and mucous membrane.

Folk recipes

The most effective folk remedies for the treatment of children’s laryngitis:

  1. Warm boiled milk with the addition of a small piece of butter relieves pain and sore throat.
  2. Breathing over a pot of boiled hot potatoes is useful for thinning and expectorating sputum.
  3. Mustard baths and mustard plasters on the back.
  4. Egg shake (beat 2 egg yolks with sugar and butter – it helps to return the voice for a while).
  1. The juice of boiled beets, a decoction of willow bark can stop the disease at its very beginning.
  2. Olive, linseed or other vegetable oil (drink 4-5 times a day, one spoon).
  3. Spread a warm scarf with soap and wrap around the neck.
  4. Tea with viburnum and other berries.
  5. Gargling the baby with a decoction of peeled onions.
  6. Dill Seed decoction (1

Also, after consulting with a doctor, you can do gargles (eucalyptus is most effective), compresses, warming bandages and foot baths.

Inpatient procedures

The following procedures may be prescribed to children in hospital or in hospital:

  • electrophoresis
  • Solux on the neck,
  • UHF
  • ultraviolet irradiation
  • physiotherapy,
  • microwave therapy and laryngeal lubrication.

In the most severe cases of laryngitis, when it is impossible to restore normal breathing with the help of drugs and procedures to a child, surgical intervention is possible.

What could be the complications?

Improper treatment for laryngitis can lead to serious consequences:

  1. Reduced immunity: the child will often be sick for a long time.
  2. Pathological narrowing of the lumen of the larynx: a complication in which the vocal cords can not recover from the disease and, except as surgically, do not fix it.
  1. Cicatricial deformity of the larynx, cervical cartilage (cricoid-thyroid, cricoid-cristal, etc.). It can lead to defects in the child’s speech, which will remain with him for life.
  2. Sepsis (an infection that has entered the bloodstream).
  3. Neck abscess (cervical phlegmon, damage to the soft tissues of the neck (fiscia) by pathogenic bacteria, accumulation of pus is the most dangerous complication, often fatal).
  4. Severe swelling.

Prevention of childhood laryngitis

When the disease is over, it is very important to observe the following preventive measures:

  • Make sure that the child has no inflammatory processes in the body, especially for the organs of the respiratory system and the oral cavity (often banal caries causes nasopharyngeal, tracheal and bronchial diseases);
  • teach your baby to always breathe through the nose;
  • keep the house clean;
  • the air in the apartment should be humidified (50-70%) and fresh. To do this, either buy a humidifier, or leave a basin with water or a wet towel in the room, and also ventilate the room;
  • regularly give the child vitamins;
  • pay attention to the baby’s diet: there must be fruits, vegetables, meat in the diet, there should be a variety in the food;
  • if laryngitis was caused by the use of a particular product, discard it;
  • temper the child gradually, but constantly – this is a very effective way to improve the health of the body;
  • Let the kid train his voice with special exercises and often drink warm water;
  • Teach him to do exercises or send him to the sports section;
  • let the child go for a walk, let him happen on the street as much as possible;
  • Always keep in stock antihistamines, antipyretics and other drugs most commonly used for ARVI diseases.

Acute laryngitis in children in most cases is easily treatable and passes quickly. At the same time, children with chronic laryngitis often have to be treated for a long time and in a comprehensive manner, plus by all possible means strengthen the immune system, otherwise, after a short period of improvement, the disease returns again.

Remember, in childhood almost all children get sick; According to doctors, this is the norm, because the immune system is thus trained so that in adulthood the body is more resistant to bacteria and viruses.

So the older your baby gets, the less he will get sick (of course, if properly cured, diseases at an early age).

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