Croup is not a pleasant thing for either children or parents to experience. While young children are really the only age group that get croup, as a parent, it can be tough to hear your kids have that scary-sounding, “barking” cough when they come down with a case of croup.
Even though it literally sounds scary, croup is usually very treatable! Read on as our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team further elaborates on croup and its treatments below.
What Is Croup?
Croup is a respiratory infection that affects children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years. Croup typically lasts between three and five days, and it’s most common during the fall and winter months.
Croup causes swelling and inflammation of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea), which can result in noisy, difficult breathing and a loud, “barking” cough. Like we said earlier, even though the symptoms of croup can sound scary, it’s highly treatable. We’ve listed its common symptoms below.
Common Symptoms of Croup
- A barking cough
- High-pitched or noisy breathing (stridor)
- Hoarseness or loss of voice
- Low-grade fever
- Runny or stuffy nose
How Can I Treat Croup?
Most cases of croup are mild, in which case they can be easily treated at home. Croup usually lasts for about a week, but one thing that can make it last longer is if the upper respiratory system is agitated or aggravated more than it needs to be.
This can happen if your child is crying a significant amount, so it’s very important to make sure he or she stays as calm and relaxed as possible in order to not make symptoms worse. We’ve listed some other home remedies for croup below.
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 medications. 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.
If you have further questions about croup, don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC team today!