What is Croup
Croup is a viral infection of the vocal cords. It usually is associated with a cold. It causes hoarseness and a tight, barky, hacking cough. When croup becomes bad, it causes a crowing noise (stridor) every time your child breathes in. Croup usually last for 5 to 6 days. During that time, it can change from mild to severe many times.
- Mist- Keep the child’s room humidified. Use a cold mist humidifier if you have one. Have it run 24 hours a day. Otherwise, hang some wet sheets or towels in his/her room. As they dry, the air in the room will become humidified.
- Increase Fluid Intake- Encourage your child to drink clear fluids (the kind you can see through)—as much as one glass per hour (1/2 glass is fine for younger children). Cut back on milk intake.
Treatment for Attacks of Croup
If your child suddenly awakens with stridor (the crowing noise), do the following to help him/her get over it:
- Take the child outside for five minutes. Sometimes the cold night air will break the stridor.
- In the meantime, have the hot shower running full blast with the bathroom door closed. Once the room is all fogged up, take the child in there for ten minutes. Cuddle him and read him a story. Fear and crying make croup worse.
- Most children settle down with one of the above treatments and then sleep peacefully through the night. If, however, the stridor is still present after all this, call Dr. Eisner’s office.
When to Call Dr. Eisner
Immediately without even trying above treatment if:
- The color of the lips and skin start turning blue
- There is any drooling
- The child is having great difficulty breathing in
- Your child is refusing to drink fluids
- Your child seems very listless or very restless