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:
- Use a cool mist humidifier in your child’s bedroom overnight.
- Encourage your child to drink more fluids than usual.
- Keep the head of the bed elevated.
- 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.
- 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.