How is croup diagnosed?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Doctors usually diagnose croup based on the symptoms the child is experiencing, particularly the typical loud, barking cough. Being able to accurately describe your child's symptoms will help the doctor with the diagnosis, especially if your child is too young to describe them. Your child's doctor will probably conduct a physical exam as well, listening to your child's breathing with a stethoscope and examining the throat for signs of redness and swelling. In some cases, the doctor might decide an X-ray of the neck is necessary before a diagnosis can be definitive.

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