Croup is an infection of the throat and vocal cords and is caused by viruses. When children under 5 years of age have the infection, it is called croup. In older children, it is called laryngitis.
At first, a child with croup seems to have a cold, but then develops a fever and cough. The lining of the throat and vocal cords are red and swollen. The child develops a weak, hoarse voice and a cough that sounds like a bark.
Sometimes the air passage is also swollen and children find it hard to breathe. The child’s breathing may then be quick and noisy.
In most cases, croup sounds worse than it is. Symptoms often get worse at night. The child may be very tired and not interested in regular activities because it is harder to breathe. In a very bad case of croup, the child can’t breathe. Some children get so sick they need to be treated in a hospital.
Croup is caused by viruses. Antibiotics, which work against bacteria, will not help with croup.
The viruses can be in the mucus or saliva and kids can spread it by touching each other or by touching objects.
This is especially important during cold and influenza season.
About Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.
Call your doctor immediately if the child has croup and any of the following:
If your doctor gives your child medicine, make sure you follow the directions carefully.
Print these pages as featured in the guide book, Sneezes & Diseases: A Resource Book for Caregivers & Parents.