LittlePeopleLogo     Croup

Description of Croupy Cough

Your child has a tight, "barking" cough and usually a hoarse voice.

 

Cause

Croup is a viral infection of the vocal cords. Stridor occurs as the opening between the vocal cords becomes more narrow and you hear a harsh, raspy sound when your child breathes in.

 

First Aid for Attacks of Stridor With Croup

Inhalation of warm mist. Warm, moist air seems to work best to relax the vocal cords and break the stridor. Take your child into a foggy bathroom. Have a warm shower running with the bathroom door closed. If your child continues to have stridor 20 minutes after mist treatment, call your physician.  

Home Care for a Croupy Cough Without Stridor

Mist and humidity. Dry air usually makes coughs worse. Keep your child's bedroom humid. (Use a humidifier if the air is dry.)

Warm fluids for coughing spasms. Warm drinks (such as warm apple juice or warm lemonade) may relax the vocal cords and loosen up sticky mucus.

Cough medicines. Medicines are less helpful than mist or warm fluids; however, you may try over the counter cough suppressants like Robitussin. Call for physician if you are unsure of the correct dose.

CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF:

• Breathing becomes difficult (when your child is not coughing).

• Your child starts drooling or having a lot of trouble swallowing.

• The warm mist fails to clear up the stridor in 20 minutes.

 

CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN WITHIN 24 HOURS IF:

• A fever lasts more than 3 days.

• Croup lasts more than 10 days.

• You have other questions or concerns.