Croup is a viral upper respiratory illness which causes swelling above the voice box.  It causes noisy breathing and a cough which sounds like a seal’s bark.  Croup generally worsens at night and is better during the day.  There are several simple things you can do to help your child with croup:

  1. Use a cool mist humidifier in your child’s bedroom overnight.
  2. Encourage your child to drink more fluids than usual.
  3. Keep the head of the bed elevated.
  4. When an attack of loud, difficult breathing occurs, stay calm.  Take your child to the bathroom, and turn on a hot shower.  Allow your child to breathe the steamy air for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. If noisy breathing persists, take your child for a ride in the car.  The calming effect of the ride plus breathing the cool night air usually stops the breathing problem.