Let’s Take The Scary Out Of Respiratory Infections


What’s Croup?

Croup is a condition that causes an inflammation of the upper airways (voice box and windpipe). It often leads to a barking cough or hoarseness, especially when a child cries. Most cases of croup are caused by viruses, and is most common in children 6 months to 3 years old.  Symptoms of croup are often worse at night, or when a child is upset or crying. Outbreaks of croup tend to occur in the fall and early winters, when the responsible viruses are at their peak.

How Can I Tell?

  • Cold Symptoms
  • Runny Nose
  • Fever
  • Hoarse Cry Or Voice
  • Barking Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Squeaking Nose During Inhalation (stridor)
  • Pale or Blue Skin Color Around The Mouth


Most cases of Croup are mild. Breathing in moist air helps most children feel better (try a cool mist humidifier or run a hot shower to create steam), while ibuprofen or acetaminophen (only for children over 6 months old) can make them more comfortable. Rest and plenty of fluids are recommended. In the cooler months, try taking your child outside for a few minutes to breathe the cooler air. You might also try taking your child for a drive with the car windows slightly lowered.

Consider sleeping overnight in the same room with your child to provide close observation. If you cannot break your child’s fast breathing and croupy cough, call your pediatrician as soon as possible.

How long will it last?

Viral croup usually lasts from 3-7 days.

Always trust your common sense. If your child is not acting like herself, call your doctor.