For people all over, winter is the prime time for catching an unwanted cold, or feeling the brunt of a chest cough – especially in the young and old.

But for those little ones prone to the likes of croup and other respiratory illnesses, one former paramedic and mother-of-two has shared her best bit of advice for helping those kids.

Nikki Jurcutz, who is also CEO of the child safety organisation Tiny Hearts Education, has taken to social media to demonstrate her favourite ‘hack’ for calming a child who is having difficulty breathing.

As Nikki explained, croup season had hit, and she had previously shared this trick a good number of times throughout her career as a paramedic.

She went on to share that her own child is prone to croup, and that it can make sufferers “feel like they’re suffocating”, while “the more distressed and upset your child becomes, the worse the symptoms of respiratory distress become.”

“The best thing,” she explained, “[that] we can do as parents is try to keep them calm, and distract them, so we can slow their breathing down.”

And after an audio clip of her son breathing before and after applying her unique technique – in which his breaths go from laboured to relaxed – she revealed that “if I hadn’t of used this technique, we probably would have been calling an ambulance.”

Parents in her comments were grateful for the advice, with many reaching out to thank her, and others noting that they’d tried similar techniques with good results, while sharing their own for everyone else to see.

“We do this too but with my hand pretending it’s five candles and she has to blow each one out (so I pop a finger down each time),” one wrote. “We also do it while she is using the spacer/ventolin to really encourage each inhale.”

“Amazing, also blowing bubbles helps. I learnt yesterday when my baby needed physio,” another said.

“Smell the roses then blow out the candles, one of my most used lines for cardiorespiratory patients,” one user shared.

And as one other said, “Homeopathic remedy – spongia. It completely changed my child’s cough from can’t breathe to totally manageable. I would highly recommend a consult with a homeopath if you have a child who gets this recurrently because it would make such a big difference and reduce hospital visits”.

Images: Instagram

This article first appeared on Over60.