Croup is a viral illness which causes a swelling around the voice box.

Your child may have a cough that sounds like a dog or a seal barking. The cough can be worse at night, and your child's voice may be hoarse or raspy and they might complain of a sore throat.

If you think your child has croup, the Pediatricians at Henry Ford recommend trying the following:

  • Stay calm. Croup can be frightening to both you and your child. When your child gets scared, the cough can get worse.
  • Use a cool-mist vaporizer or a pan of water on the radiator in your child's room.
  • Take your child into a closed bathroom with a hot shower running, and sit with your child for 20 to 30 minutes so he or she can breathe the steam. The steam will help relieve congestion.
  • Dress your child appropriately and take them outside into the cool air for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Give your child plenty of fluids.
  • If your child has a fever, giving them acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help bring the fever down.

Call your Henry Ford Pediatrician at 1-800-HENRYFORD (1-800-436-7936) for a same-day appointment or go to the nearest, pediatric emergency department if:

  • Your child does not improve after trying the above treatments.
  • Your child's breathing gets worse or he or she turns blue.
  • Your child appears to have so much trouble breathing that he or she does not play, drink liquids or sleep for more than 30 minutes.
  • Your child has difficulty swallowing or starts drooling.
  • Your child develops a high fever which does not get better with acetaminophen.
  • Your child's cough is not better in four to five days.
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