What Should I Know About Croup?

If you’re a parent, there’s a certain type of cough that always causes you a bit more anxiety. Hearing your kids with a loud, crackly cough often means that they’re dealing with croup, and this respiratory infection is no joke.

While croup isn’t typically serious and usually goes away in a week or two, it’s certainly cause for concern. Learn more about it as our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN team provides further helpful information below!

What Is Croup?

Croup is an upper respiratory infection that almost exclusively affects children. It’s most often characterized by a “barking” cough, which sounds like a seal bark.

The cough and croup’s other signs and symptoms are caused by swelling around the larynx, windpipe (trachea) and bronchial tubes (bronchi). In addition to a noisy cough, when air is forced through the swollen respiratory organs by breathing, it often produces a high-pitched whistling sound, which is referred to as stridor. We’ve listed the most common croup symptoms below.

Common Croup Symptoms

  • Loud barking cough that’s further aggravated by things like crying, anxiety and agitation, which can cause a cycle of worsening signs and symptoms
  • Fever
  • Hoarse voice
  • Breathing that may be noisy or labored

Can Croup Be Treated at Home?

In most cases, yes, it can! One of the best ways to treat croup is to make sure your child stays calm, since crying and agitation make the cough and the other croup symptoms worse.

If your child’s croup symptoms are severe, worsen or last longer than three to five days after you’ve tried some of the below-mentioned treatments, visit our AFC center to get further medical treatment.

Ways to Treat Croup at Home

  • Hold your child in a comfortable upright position. Sitting upright may make breathing easier.
  • Make sure your child is staying hydrated. Water can work to flush out all types of infections, including croup.
  • Encourage rest. Sleep can help your child fight the infection.
  • Try a fever reducer. If your child has a fever, OTC medications like acetaminophen can help.
  • Skip the cold medicines. OTC cold medicines aren’t recommended for children of any age, and they can be harmful in children less than 2 years of age. Plus, they won’t help croup.

Do you have further questions about croup? If so, don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC team today!