What is Croup?

Croup usually starts with an upper respiratory infection that travels to the larynx (the voice box). The hoarseness of the voice is due to the swelling of the vocal cords. It is usually caused by a virus, and lasts 5-6 days.

What are the symptoms of Croup?

Your child might have one or more of the following symptoms when admitted to the hospital:

  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Stridor: a high pitched sound when breathing in, often is worse when the child is upset or crying, may worsen at night.
  • Croupy cough: a hoarse, barky type of cough which may also worsen at night.
  • Hoarseness
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Low grade fever
  • Difficulty in breathing: increased or rapid breaths

What should you watch for going home?

  • Increase in stridor
  • Increased difficulty in breathing
  • Decrease in fluid intake (your child should be drinking well before discharge and should be taking 4-6 oz of fluid every 4 hours, depending on his age. Watch the temperature Take a temperature twice a day, more if you think the child is running a fever.(Place a thermometer under the arm pit, hold the arm down for 4-7 minutes. The temperature should be between 97 and 99 degrees).

What should you do when you get home?

  • Keep your child in a quiet environment and see that he/she gets plenty of rest.
  • If you have a cool mist humidifier, run it the room where the child is both while sleeping and while awake.
  • Offer cool liquids often.
  • Give medications as you are instructed at the time of discharge.