What is croup? What are croup symptoms?
Croup is a viral infection that involves swelling of the upper airway. It can be a very dangerous and distressing situation for the child. Croup occurs, most often, in the middle of the night. Croup symptoms may vary, but typically your child will begin to make whistling sounds as they try to inhale to breathe. The classic croup symptom is a “seal bark” sound as the child coughs. Fever may or may not accompany croup. Most often, what you see is a child that has had mild cold symptoms, who then awakens with labored breathing and very frightened parents. We are always available by phone in those evening hours to help you decide the best way to proceed in your child’s care.
Croup lasts 3-7 days. Usually, croup symptoms will go away after about 48-72 hours from presentation. When it comes to at-home croup treatment, you can try bundling them up and taking them outside to breathe the cool night air. If it is too warm outside, you can open the freezer door and let them breathe in this cool air. Either way, it will take at least 15-20 minutes to see an improvement. We will sometimes prescribe an oral steroid if symptoms are severe. If at any point your child is unable to speak, looks dusky colored or blue around their lips/fingernails, looks uncomfortable breathing or is excessively drowsy, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 for treatment immediately .
Croup can be an incredibly frightening experience for any parent, even us. We are here to answer any questions you might have and offer some support through those tough times.
****The information provided here is intended only as a supplement to the advice and information provided by our physicians and nurses during direct patient interactions at Health Care for Children. This information should never take the place of an actual physical examination. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your concerns with our nursing staff directly.****
Have a question about treatment or this ailment? Contact our Northland-based practice by calling (816) 792-1170 for more information.
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Visit Healthy Children.org to find out more information.