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Croup

When young children get laryngitis, their larynx is so narrow that it actually affects the way they breathe. The sound of a child with Croup is unmistakeable and is often likened to a seal. The child is often frightened by this, and it can be alarming to a parent hearing it for the first time too. It is more common in boys than in girls and is rare before the age of 3 and after 5. Some children are more susceptible than others and get recurrent Croup. It usually begins with a child going to bed with cold symptoms, waking up suddenly with a hoarse, barking ("croupy") cough.

What To Do

A cold, moist atmosphere gives the fastest relief. In winter the quickest and easiest remedy is to dress the child well and take him outside in the cold air for ten minutes.
If the weather is not co-operating stand the child close to a running shower.
A cold mist humidifier in the room will help, and in severe cases many hospitals have mist "tents" that children can be treated in.
Willow Bark may be helpful to reduce fever.

When to Treat Croup as a Medical Emergency

If your child has any of the following symptoms with Croup, take him immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room:

  • A Muffled Voice or Harsh "Snoring" Breathing.
  • Drooling.
  • Obvious restlessness from difficulty breathing.
  • Blue tinge.
  • Or if any of the What To Do Advice does NOT bring relief.

    Many parents use a humidifier in their child's room as a precautionary measure whenever there are cold symptoms, some even use it all the time during the winter. While there is something to be said for having one in the house for occasional use, great care must be taken to keep it scrupulously clean, or molds can develop which do more harm to your child's respiratory tract than the original problem!! Back to Index