Croup is a scary-sounding respiratory infection. If you are a parent, it’s likely that your child has dealt with it before.
While the cough that comes along with croup is not for the faint of heart, it’s typically easy to treat and isn’t usually a huge cause for concern.
Our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team provides further info about croup below, so read on!
What Is Croup?
Croup is a respiratory infection that is most often caused by the parainfluenza virus. It causes a swelling of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea), which can result in noisy, difficult breathing and a loud, “barking” cough.
Children are most likely to get croup between 3 months and 5 years of age. Croup isn’t as common as kids get older, since the windpipe is larger and swelling is less likely to interfere with breathing. Croup most often occurs during this time of year, and we’ve listed the most common symptoms below.
Common Croup Symptoms
- A runny, stuffy nose
- A cough that turns into a “seal’s bark”
- A whistling sound when breathing, which is often referred to as “stridor”
Is Croup Related to COVID-19?
In recent studies, the omicron variant has been shown to lead to croup. Scientists believe that the reason for this is because omicron tends to settle higher up in the respiratory tract, rather than deeper in the lungs.
This can lead to swelling and inflammation, which then causes croup. While omicron-induced croup seems scary, cases haven’t shown to be any more serious than classic cases of croup, thus keeping it highly treatable. If your child has croup, we’ve listed below what you can do to treat it at home.
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 medicines. 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.
Do you have any further questions regarding croup? Our AFC team can provide answers, so don’t hesitate to reach out today!