Croup is a common illness among young children. Many kids between the ages of 3 months and 5 years get it, but it’s typically not a huge cause for concern as most cases can be treated without seeking medical help.
Our AFC Urgent Care Mooresville team provides more helpful info on croup below, so keep reading!
What Causes Croup?
The most common cause of croup is a virus that leads to swelling of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe). The upper respiratory swelling typically causes a scary-sounding cough that sounds like a seal pup or dog.
If a child does get croup, he or she will generally be contagious for the first three days or until the fever goes away. Croup is most common during the winter months, so we’ve listed the symptoms to be aware of below.
Common Symptoms of Croup
- A barking cough
- High-pitched or noisy breathing (stridor)
- Hoarseness or loss of voice
- Low-grade fever
- Runny or stuffy nose
How Can I Treat Croup?
Most croup cases can be treated at home, and one of the best ways to do is to make sure your child stays calm, since crying and agitation make the cough and the other croup symptoms worse.
If your child’s croup symptoms are severe, worsen or last longer than three to five days after you’ve tried some of the below-mentioned treatments, visit our AFC center to get further medical treatment.
Ways to Treat Croup at Home
- Hold your child in a comfortable upright position. Sitting upright may make breathing easier.
- Make sure your child is staying hydrated. Water can work to flush out all types of infections, including croup.
- Encourage rest. Sleep can help your child fight the infection.
- Try a fever reducer. If your child has a fever, OTC medications like acetaminophen can help.
- Skip the cold medications. OTC cold medicines aren’t recommended for children of any age, and they can be harmful in children less than 2 years of age. Plus, they won’t help croup.
Although croup can sound scary, it’s typically harmless! Nevertheless, if you have further questions about croup, don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC team today.