Published: Thursday 27 August 2020
Croup is a condition that affects babies' and young children's airways which is usually mild. It affects the voicebox, windpipe and airways. Around 3% of children get croup, usually in the winter months.
Children often have cold like symptoms to begin with such as a runny nose, raised temperature and a cough.
What are the symptoms of croup?
You can recognise croup by one of more of these symptoms:
- barking ’seal like’ cough
- a hoarse sounding voice
- breathing difficulties
- rasping sound when inhaling
Croup symptoms can be worse in the evening and at night.
Croup often gets better on its own after 2-3 days.
What should I do if I think my child has croup?
Usually you can care for your child at home. You should:
- Keep calm
- Sit your child upright and / or prop up their cot
- Comfort them if distressed as crying can make it worse
- Give them lots of fluids to drink
- Put them in a steamy room
- Give them cough/cold mixtures
See your GP or contact 111 if you are worried or you feel your child is getting worse.
You should go to A & E or call 999 if:
- Your child is struggling to breath (such as sucking in their tummy or their breathing sounds different)
- Their lips turn blue or grey
- They are unusually quiet and still or not responding.
Want to ensure your first aid skills are up-to-date? Childcare professionals can join us on our Paediatric First Aid course and parents/carers or family members can come to our Baby and Child First Aid course. We run our courses in Sussex at venues in Brighton & Hove and Angmering.
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