Croup is a common respiratory infection among children. It most often occurs in children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years old, and it will likely clear up within a week.
Although serious croup complications are rare, croup is not something to take lightly. Our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne team provides more info on this respiratory infection below, so keep reading!
What Is Croup?
Croup is a condition that irritates and causes swelling of the upper airways among young children. It’s typically caused by a virus, but it can sometimes be caused by bacteria, allergies or reflux from the stomach.
As their airways swell and vocal cords become narrow, children will find it hard to breathe and will emit a whistling noise when they take a breath. In addition to noisy breathing, they’ll have a cough that sounds similar to a high-pitched seal or dog bark. Their voice will also sound raspy and hoarse—especially when they cry. We’ve listed other common croup symptoms below.
Common Croup Symptoms
- Loud barking cough that’s further aggravated by things like crying, anxiety and agitation, which can cause a cycle of worsening signs and symptoms
- Hoarse voice
- Noisy, restricted breathing
Should I Take My Child to the Doctor?
In most cases, you can treat croup at home. When croup isn’t severe, it will typically clear up after three to five days.
However, if your child’s symptoms seem to worsen and don’t clear up after at least five days of home treatment, it’s important to visit our AFC center to prevent possible serious complications. If you notice any of the below signs, seek medical attention.
When to Take Your Child to the Doctor
- Makes noisy, high-pitched breathing sounds both when inhaling and exhaling
- Makes high-pitched breathing sounds when not crying or agitated
- Begins drooling or has difficulty swallowing
- Breathes at a faster rate than usual
- Struggles to breathe
- Develops blue or grayish skin around the nose, mouth or fingernails (cyanosis)
Not sure if your child is dealing with croup? We can provide an accurate diagnosis, so don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne center today!