Croup is a type of respiratory infection that is usually caused by a virus. The infection leads to swelling inside the trachea, which interferes with normal breathing and produces classic symptoms that may be mild, moderate, or severe. Often it starts or is worse at night and normally lasts one to two days. Croup can be caused by a number of viruses including parainfluenza and influenza virus. Rarely is it due to a bacterial infection.

If your child's symptoms are severe, worsen or last longer than three to five days or aren't responding to home treatment, contact your child's doctor.
  • Symptoms
  • Blocked nose

    or Runny nose


    Cough with mucus or without mucus

    • Barking cough

    • Occurs or worsens with emotions


    Strained voice

    • Worst at night



    • Less than 38°C (100. 4°F), Greater than or equal to 38°C (100.4°F)


    Noise while breathing


    Abnormally rapid breathing


    Excessive saliva flowing

    Swallowing difficulties

    or Pain, scratchiness or irritation of the throat

  • Risk factors
  • Family history of croup

    Recent upper respiratory tract infection

  • Treatment
  • Most cases of croup are mild and can be treated at home. Try to keep your child calm, as crying can make croup worse. For a fever, medicine (acetaminophen or, only for kids older than 6 months, ibuprofen) may make your child more comfortable. Ask your health care provider how much to give and follow the directions carefully. Call your doctor or get medical care right away if your child: 1-has trouble breathing, including very fast or labored breathing 2-is too out of breath to talk or walk 3-has pulling in of the neck and chest muscles when breathing 4-has stridor that is getting worse 5-is pale or bluish around the mouth 6-is drooling or has trouble swallowing 7-is very tired or sleepy or hard to awaken 8-is dehydrated (signs include a dry or sticky mouth, few or no tears when crying, sunken eyes, thirst, peeing less)
  • Recommended specialist
  • If you have Croup, then a visit to a pediatrician is recommended.

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