Common Illnesses: Croup

One the many common illnesses we’ve been dealing with recently is croup.  For some reason when I hear croup, I just think it’s old timey, like it’s something that babies don’t get anymore –  I couldn’t be more wrong.

Madeline had been pretty cranky one day and fought going to sleep.  Finally I got her down and laid her in her crib.  Over the monitor I heard what I thought was her sneezing, went in to check on her and she was awake.  I got her down again and sure enough not twenty minutes later, I heard another noise from her room, this time it sounded like she was choking.  When I got to her she was worked up, red and struggling for air.  Every time she breathed out, it sounded like wheezing, but it was more of a barking cough.  At this point it was almost eleven at night so we took her straight to the ER.

Croup is apparently worse at night.  Many times, cold night air, or the air from the freezer can help with that cough.  It is characterized by a barking cough that sounds like a seal on their exhale, this is known as stridor.  Croup,  an inflammation of the vocal box, is kind of like laryngitis for babies, so their lungs are typically clear.  There’s not much that can be done for relief other than a steroid treatment, so it’s important to see a physician.

That being said, our doctor recommended spending time outside in cool night air when the cough acts up and a cool mist humidifier.  Nevertheless, it can take 4 days to a week to clear up.  Untreated croup can become quite serious, so if you hear the tell tale signs of the barking cough- get checked out.  Otherwise, buckle in and get ready to ride it out!

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