What is it?

Croup is caused by a virus that causes inflammation of  the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea). It is recognized by a barky cough that can sound similar to the noise a seal makes and sometimes a high pitched whistling noise (stridor) heard when your child takes a breath in. It can also cause your child to have a stuffy nose and a fever. The cough usually gets worse at night. Croup is mostly seen during the late fall and winter and most often seen in children under the age of 4. However, your child may be older and still get croup. Antibiotics do not work for coup as it is caused by a virus. Also cough medicines typically do not help either as the cough is caused from the inflammation. Sometimes steroids are necessary to help reduce the inflammation.


What can I do?

A mild case of croup can be easily treated at home. Steaming up the bathroom with a hot shower and sitting in the warm humid air for about 15 minutes can relieve your child's coughing. Alternately you can bundle your child up and take them outside into the cold night air. You should also run a cool mist humidifier in your child's bedroom while sleeping.


When do I call the office?

  • Please call the office immediately at any time if:
    • Your child is struggling to take a breath
    • Your child cannot speak because of trouble breathing
    • Your child turns blue when they cough
    • Your child seems much more sleepy than usual
    • Your child has a high pitched whistling noise (stridor) when breathing in
  • Please call the office during normal hours is:

    • A fever lasts more than 3 days
    • Any questions or concerns