Overview of Croup
- Croup is the inflammation of the windpipe and voice box. The inflammation can make it hard to breathe.
Causes of Croup
Croup is caused by viral infections such as:
- Coxsackie virus;
- Respiratory syncytial virus;
- Influenza virus type A;
- Reovirus; and
- Measles virus.
Croup regularly begins with symptoms related to an upper respiratory infection. The symptoms can come on unexpectedly and usually at night. The following is a listing of common croup symptoms:
- Cough that resembles a barking sound;
- A callous, piercing sound when your child breathes in, particularly when crying or troubled;
- Problem breathing, particularly breathing in; and
- No desire for food and fluid consumption.
More severe symptoms of croup that might need immediate medical care include:
- Nails, lips and mouth may start to turn blue. This is a medical emergency. Phone for an ambulance.
- Decreased awareness. This is also a severe symptom. Phone for an ambulance.
- Impatience or anxiety. This can be due to extreme lack of oxygen.
- Battling with each breath.
- Piercing sound when breathing.
- Problem swallowing.
- Vomiting and queasiness.
- Quick, uneven heartbeat; pain in the chest.
Treatment options consist of:
For severe croup, your child might need to be hospitalized. Hospital care might consist of:
- Croup tent. Fresh, moist air provided inside a plastic tent;
- To treat swelling and respiratory problems; or
- IV fluids.