In general, seal bark = croup. Croup is a viral infection that causes swelling of the upper airway, voice box, and windpipe (not the lungs). It produces a distinctive barky, seal-like cough and hoarse voice. Older kids and adults usually only get a loud cough and hoarse voice or just cold symptoms. Because it’s a virus, antibiotics won’t help.
In newborns, infants, and toddlers, the inflammation can sometimes be severe enough to produce stridor—a loud, harsh sound heard when your child breathes in that may be associated with trouble breathing. The second or third night tends to be worse, so even if your child seems fine the next
day, talk to your pediatrician to see if treatment is needed.
To help decrease stridor, spend 20 minutes with your child outside in the cool night air or in a steam-filled bathroom. Running a humidifier or vaporizer in her bedroom at night may also help.
Find out more about this book:Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents' Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers