Is Croup Causing Your Child's Cough?

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Hi, I'm Dr Altman. It's not uncommon for small children to develop a nasty barking feel like cough. That's a symptom of croup. Croup is a viral infection that causes swelling of the upper airway, voice box and windpipe. And because it's a virus, antibiotics won't help. Croup produces a distinctive barking still like coughing and hoarse voice in little kids.

Older children and adults can get it too, but they may only have a loud cough and a hoarse voice or just cold symptoms, but in newborns, infants and toddlers the inflammation can sometimes be severe enough to produce stridor that's a loud hoarse sound heard when your child breaths in, that indicates she's having trouble breathing.

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 can also help. Croup tends to be worse on the second or third night. So even if your child seems fine the next day talk to your pediatrician to see if other treatment is needed.

I'm Dr. Altman, for more ways to keep your family healthy, watch all our smart tips right here.