6 Questions to Ask About Croup
At Night Lite Pediatrics, our urgent care clinic provides excellent care, diagnosis, and treatment of pediatric croup. Call Night Lite Pediatrics to book an appointment today. We serve patients from Greater Orlando, Jacksonville, West Melbourne, and Port St Lucie Florida areas.
What is croup in children?
Croup, also referred to as laryngotracheobronchitis, is a common respiratory infection in children that causes inflammation in the trachea and larynx, which are also referred to as the windpipe and voice box, respectively. As such, croup affects the upper respiratory airways in your neck and creates difficulties with breathing and speaking. Croup is most often experienced in the winter.
What causes croup in a child?
Croup is most commonly caused by viral infections but can also be caused by allergies, bacteria, or acid reflux. Common viruses that have been known to cause croup in children include adenoviruses, enteroviruses, human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs), influenza (seasonal flu), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). When croup is caused by a virus, it is typically spread through direct contact with another person via saliva, mucus, or other bodily fluid.
What are the symptoms of croup in a child?
Since croup begins in the nose and throat and progresses downwards toward the lungs, croup symptoms in children often change as the illness develops. With that in mind, some common symptoms of croup in children include the following:
- Cough that starts mild but worsens and is often compared to a seal barking
- High-pitched squeaking or whistling sound when inhaling (stridor)
- Laryngitis, or losing their voice
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
Croup symptoms are at their worst at night, improve in the morning, and gradually worsen throughout the day.
How is croup diagnosed in a child?
There are several different ways that a family doctor or pediatrician can diagnose a croup in a child, which will likely include both a review of the child’s medical history and a physical examination. In many instances, a simple observation of the child’s symptoms and breathing is enough for a doctor to diagnose croup. However, some additional tests may be needed to diagnose croup, which could include any of the following:
- Airway, chest, or neck X-ray, which can help rule out other possible illnesses
- Blood tests, which can help determine if the infection is bacterial or viral
How is croup treated in a child?
Treatment for croup in a child ultimately depends on the child’s age, overall health, symptoms, and infection type. While mild croup cases can be treated at home, more severe cases should be seen by a pediatrician. With that in mind, croup in children is treated in the following ways:
- Allergy medication or antacids, if the illness is caused by allergies or acid reflux
- Antibiotics, if the infection is bacterial
- Corticosteroids, either by mouth or via injection, to reduce inflammation in the upper airways
- Inhaled medicines, to help make breathing easier
When should I call Night Lite Pediatrics Urgent Care?
If your child has croup and has any difficulty breathing, has a fever, severe cough, or symptoms that do not improve within one week, it is important to call their pediatrician for medical attention. You should seek immediate medical attention for your child if they experience stridor when at rest or that becomes louder with each breath, have difficulty swallowing, or struggle to catch their breath. Our pediatricians at Night Lite Pediatrics Urgent Care would be happy to provide your child with excellent treatment. If your child has a blue discoloration around their fingernails, mouth, or nose or cannot speak or make sounds, it is essential to take them to your nearest emergency room for proper treatment and medical care. We welcome you to come to Night Lite Pediatrics for a walk-in appointment if your child is dealing with croup! We have clinics located in Apopka, Doctor Phillips, East Orlando, Jacksonville, Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Oak Ridge, Oviedo, Port St. Lucie, St. Cloud, and Winter Garden, Florida.