Croup is swelling in the windpipe and voice box. It’s caused by a virus infection and is most common in children ages 6 months to 3 years.
Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has trouble breathing.
Symptoms of croup are often worse at night and may even wake your child up.
At first, your child has cold symptoms such as:
Later, your child may have:
After 3 to 4 days, the cough may change to sound more like a normal cough.
With severe croup, your child may also have:
For mild croup, doctors will treat your child at home with:
To help ease coughing, try one of the following:
Most children with mild croup will feel better in 3 to 4 days.
If your child has trouble breathing, go to the hospital's emergency department. There, doctors will give your child fluids by vein and medicines such as:
A nebulizer is an electric or battery-powered machine that turns liquid medicine into a fine spray that you child can easily breathe in through a face mask.
If your child's symptoms get better, doctors may send your child home.
If your child still has trouble breathing, doctors will keep your child in the hospital. Usually doctors will continue to:
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