Pediatric Specialists of Plano

Croup is a viral infection of the vocal cords, voice box (larynx), and windpipe (trachea).

There is a distinctive tight low-pitched barking cough with hoarseness due to swelling of the vocal cords..  A harsh, raspy vibrating sound (stridor) is heard when your child breathes in, usually only with crying or coughing.  Symptoms usually last 5 to 6 days and generally get worse at night.  The viruses that cause croup are very contagious until the fever is gone or until 3 days into the illness.  Recommendations include:

First Aid:

Warm, moist air seems to relax the vocal cords.  If your child develops stridor or tight breathing, steam up the bathroom and take him/her into the humidified bathroom for at least 10 minutes.   Allay fears by cuddling, as stress can exacerbate symptoms.  Use a cool mist humidifier, running 24hours/day during this illness.

Medications:

Meds are less helpful than either mist or warm fluids.  Encourage fluids, such as warm apple juice or herbal tea.  You may try an expectorant as needed for a persistent cough, and older children can take cough drops as needed. You may treat fever< 100.5 with Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin/Advil (ibuprofen) as needed.

Warnings:

Call immediately if:

  • breathing becomes difficult (when your child is not coughing)
  • your child develops drooling, spitting, or great difficulty swallowing
  • you note retractions (tugging-in) between the ribs
  • warm air fails to clear up stridor in 20 minutes or your child becomes very sick

Pediatric Specialists of Plano

(972) 473-7777

 

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Our Phone Number

(972) 473-7777

Our Address

Pediatric Specialists of Plano
3405 Midway Road, Suite 650
Plano, TX 75093

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