Croup is a viral infection in the upper airway, around the vocal cords and windpipe. Swelling in this area may cause a barking cough. Croup, most often seen in the late summer and fall, usually affects young children.

    What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Croup?

    • a barking cough
    • a high-pitched sound when breathing in (known as stridor)
    • breathing harder than usual
    • stuffy or runny nose
    • fever

    What Can I Do About Croup?

    • Run a hot shower to create a steam-filled bathroom where you can sit with your child for 20 minutes.
    • Take your child outside during cooler months for a few minutes. This may help breathing.
    • Use a cool-mist humidifier. Having your child breathe in the moist air will sometimes ease symptoms.

    Get Medical Care If Your Child:

    • has trouble breathing (breathing too fast or skin between the ribs is pulling in)
    • has a pale or bluish color around the mouth
    • drools or has trouble swallowing
    • becomes tired easily

    How Can I Help Prevent Croup?

    Washing hands well and often and avoiding contact with people who have respiratory infections are the best protection against the spread of viruses that cause croup.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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