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Kids Health: What is Croup?

Posted by UFMC Pueblo in Company News | 0 comments

croup kid

When you hear it, you know it. The raspy guttural cough that comes out of your child’s mouth in the middle of the night. They’re starting to get sick, and it sounds like croup.

Croup is a condition that causes inflammation in the upper airways, the voice box and windpipe. It often leads to a deep cough or hoarseness, especially when a child cries. Most case of the croup are caused by viruses, usually parainfuenza and sometimes advenovirus or respiratory synctial virus.

Viral croup is most common. Symptoms are most severe in children 6 months to 3 years old, but can affect older kids too. Some children are more prone to developing croup when they get a viral upper respiratory infection. But, most cases of viral croup are mild and can be treated at home. Rarely, croup can be severe and even life threatening.

The term spasmodic croup refers to a type of croup that develops quickly and may happen in a child with a mild cold. The barking cough usually begins at night and is not accompanied by fever. Spasmodic croup has a tendency to come back. 

Treatment of symptoms is the same for either form of croup.

Signs and Symptoms of croup:

  • At first, a child may have cold symptoms, like a stuffy or runny nose and a fever. As the upper airway becomes more inflamed and swollen, the child may become hoarse, with a harsh, barking cough. This loud cough, which is characteristic of croup.
  • If the upper airway continues to swell, it becomes even more difficult for a child to breathe, and you may hear a high-pitched or squeaking noise during inhalation. A child also might breathe very fast or have retractions. In the most serious cases, a child may appear pale or have a bluish color around the mouth due to a lack of oxygen.
  • Symptoms of croup are often worse at night and when children are upset or crying. 

In addition to the upper airway effects, the viruses that cause croup can cause inflammation farther down the airway and affect the bronchi.

For more information or if you think your child may be getting croup call your doctor today.

 

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