What is croup?

Croup is a viral infection causing swelling of the upper airway of babies and children.


Does my baby have croup?

Children with croup may have a ‘barking’ cough; breathing difficulty; a hoarse voice; and a rasping noise when inhaling. Cold symptoms like a runny or blocked nose, a cough, and a temperature are usually also present. Your child’s croup symptoms may be worse at night.

What to do if my baby has croup?

Usually symptoms are mild and subside within a few days. Looking after your child at home as with any viral illness, ensuring that they drink plenty of fluids and using pain relief is usually all that is needed.


When to see a doctor?

If you are worried about your baby, the symptoms are getting worse or not improving, you should see a doctor. In some cases an oral steroid medication or nebuliser may be needed to help ease the airway swelling and help ease breathing difficulty. Some children have recurrent episodes of croup and a medical assessment is recommended to ensure there are no other causes to the symptoms.

You should call 999 or go to your nearest accident and emergency department if; your child is displaying signs of severe breathing difficulty, which might involve their breathing sounding abnormal, or their stomach and chest wall appearing to suck in (recession); they develop a pale, blue or grey colour on their skin or lips; they get a very high temperature suddenly; or if they appear abnormally still and quiet.

Fortunately this kind of situation is rare and children make a quick and complete recovery.

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