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What is it?
Inflammation of upper airways caused by a respiratory virus (para-influenza)
Usually starts in middle of night – often accompanied by fever of 102-104
Barky, sharp cough that usually resolves as the sun rises
Can be accompanied by difficulty breathing, especially in children less than 3
Often causes a sore throat, followed by cold symptoms and a looser cough, and frequently causes laryngitis, or hoarseness (uncommon with strep throat)
How to treat it?
Controlling the inflammation and keeping the airway open is the goal of treatment
helps – you can stand by the open freezer, open windows, go outside for walk, or use
cool mist humidifier
Run a hot shower to
the bathroom, then sit with your child (outside of the shower!) for 10-15 minutes at a time.
is a great anti-inflammatory medication. Give a full dose based on weight, even in the absence of fever
Over the counter cough medicines such as
Robitussin Long-Acting Cough
may help those over 2 years of age.
Croup is usually bad for 2 nights so even if your child improves during the day give a prophylactic dose of ibuprofen before bed the second night as well and have the windows open and humidifier ready
When to call
If your child is having any trouble breathing, shown by pulling in with chest muscles, looking uncomfortable when they lay flat
Croup that lasts more than 3 nights or croup that is still very bad during daylight hours. (most symptoms subside during the daytime)