Croup is a common respiratory illness often seen in children 6
months to 36 months of age. Croup causes distinctive symptoms, including
hoarseness and a barking cough, a high-pitched sound (stridor) heard when
breathing in, and trouble breathing as a result of swelling or obstruction in
the windpipe (trachea).
Croup is usually caused by a virus that
affects the throat and upper airways but not the lungs. It often recurs until a
child is 5 to 6 years old.
You can usually manage croup symptoms at home by soothing your child and having your child breathe in moist air. Severe symptoms
may require a visit to the doctor or emergency room where the child can be
given medicines to reduce airway swelling. Oxygen may be needed until breathing
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics