Croup: what is it and what to do?

Many people with young children have heard of croup before, but for the new parents reading it may be a scary thing to experience for the first time.  What exactly is croup? It is a barky cough that will most likely happen out of nowhere, often in the middle of the night, when your little one seemed perfectly fine at bedtime.  Croup can be caused by any virus that causes runny nose, cough, fever, or any typical cold-like symptom.  It happens when a virus lands and stays in the child’s larynx.  You may notice that there is a noise when they are breathing inward, which is called a stridor.


You may be wondering what you can do for your child if you hear this cough and if a trip to the ER or urgent care is necessary.  First thing is first, stay calm!  Most likely your child is going to wake up scared from their coughing fit.  Being calm will hopefully calm them down so that they can get out of the coughing fit.  Another thing that is very important to do is a hot, steamy room.  Go into the bathroom, start a hot shower and let the bathroom get nice and steamy.  Maybe bring in a favorite book or stuffed animal to cuddle up with and stay put for 10-15 minutes (or until that barky cough subsides a little).  A humidifier is a great way to create that environment in their bedroom.  You could go outside into the cool night air, but make sure they are nice and bundled first.  You could sit outside or go for a drive with the windows down.  The cool air will help calm down that barky cough as well.


Croup can typically last for a few days before seeing any major improvements in your little one’s condition.  After the nasty barky cough and stridor ends, normal cold like symptoms will arise.  Due to covid still being prominent, a test may be necessary if symptoms worsen or don’t subside after a few days. Check in with your pediatrician to see what they recommend.  Tips and advice came from the Mayo Clinic.  Check out this link to read more:


This blog is not giving medical advice, just what to look for when it comes to croup.  If you suspect your child has croup, is sick or their symptoms aren’t improving, contact your pediatrician or go to an immediate care facility to talk to a medical professional.