Croup occurs in about 6% to 8% of children annually during their first 5 years of life, they are more susceptible to croup due to the fact that their airways are smaller.
Croup can be a difficult ordeal for both parents and children. It is an infection of the upper airway, typically caused by a virus, which results in hoarseness and a characteristic “barking” cough. While the majority of cases are mild and can be managed at home, there are times when medical attention is necessary.
At Night Lite Pediatrics we are able to offer expert care for pediatric croup. Florida parents can book a convenient arrival time through our website and visit one of our clinics or use our telemedicine service.
What is pediatric croup?
Croup is a manifestation of upper airway obstruction, due to a viral infection, most commonly caused by either parainfluenza or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). It usually presents with a hoarse voice, a characteristic bark-like cough, and a loud noise when inhaling (stridor).
In most cases, children will experience mild croup but it is important to keep a close eye in case more severe symptoms develop and urgent medical care is necessary.
What causes pediatric croup?
Croup is most often caused by a viral infection such as:
- influenza A and B viruses
- respiratory syncytial virus
In rare cases, bacteria can cause croup. This type of croup is often more severe than viral types. Haemophilus influenza type B is one such bacteria.
Spasmodic croup is a type of croup that is thought to be caused by an allergy or by reflux from the stomach.
Symptoms of pediatric croup
The most common symptom of croup is a bark-like cough which is often worse at night. In addition, there may be a hoarse voice, stridor (a loud noise when inhaling), and difficulty breathing.
Other symptoms include:
- Mild cold symptoms
- runny nose
- sore throat
Croup can cause a bluish tint to the skin due to lack of oxygen in more severe cases.
When to seek urgent medical attention for croup
Urgent medical care may be necessary for croup, and parents should consider medical attention if their child shows any of the following symptoms:
- breathing problems
- difficulty drinking fluids
- if the child’s symptoms worsen or do not improve after one week of home treatment
- if the stridor or bark-like cough persists for more than three days
- difficulty sleeping due to the croup
- fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- difficulty swallowing
- drooling excessively.
The majority of cases of croup can be managed at home. To do this, parents should ensure that the child is as comfortable as possible and able to rest. If they are having difficulty breathing, they can sit up using pillows to elevate their head and chest.
Humidified air can be used to help soothe the airways. Parents can use a cool-mist humidifier or take the child into a steamy bathroom for a few minutes.
It is important to note that croup is a virus and antibiotics will not help. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used to reduce fever and discomfort.
If the child’s symptoms are severe or persist for more than a few days, parents should make an appointment with Night Lite Pediatrics at one of our 13 clinics across Florida or request a telemedicine session.
Medications for Treating Croup
Medications may be necessary for treating croup. These include corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation and swelling in the airways; epinephrine, which helps open the airways; and anti-viral medications, which can help reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness. In some cases, oxygen therapy may also be needed.
It is important to note that medications should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Self-medicating can be dangerous and can lead to serious side effects.
Additionally, it is important to follow the instructions of a healthcare provider and take the medication as prescribed.
A croup cough is typically a bark-like cough, which is the result of swelling and irritation around the vocal cords (larynx), windpipe (trachea) and bronchial tubes (bronchi).
Urgent Care near me for pediatric croup
Night Lite Pediatrics in Florida, has over 80 years of experience in treating children. Our team of skilled and compassionate doctors understand how croup in kids can largely impact their life as well as their parents. We aim to help children regain their health and vitality as quickly as possible.
Our clinics are open seven days a week, accommodating walk-ins and suggested arrival times. You can contact us at any of our 13 Florida locations listed below:
- John Young Pkwy, FL
- Orlando, FL
- East Orlando, FL
- Apopka, FL
- Winter Garden, FL
- Kissimmee, FL
- Oviedo, FL
- Lake Mary, FL
- Cloud Kissimmee, FL
- West Melbourne, FL
- Port St. Lucie, FL
- Mandarin Jacksonville, FL
- South Side Jacksonville, FL
We also offer Telemedicine appointments for those who cannot make it into the clinic.
Contact us today to schedule a time to be seen.
As a parent, it is common to have questions about any illness that could affect your child.
Below you can find a list of common questions and answers regarding croup.
Pediatric croup typically lasts for 2 to 3 days, and symptoms can take up to 14 days to clear completely.
The viruses that cause croup are generally contagious, and a child with croup is considered contagious for the first 3 days of being ill or until their fever clears.
Symptoms that you should watch out for are, if your child begins to struggle to breathe, making noisy high-pitched breathing sounds, or if they drool excessively and cannot swallow.
If your child has a barking cough, they may very well have croup and it will be important to keep a close eye to ensure more severe symptoms do not develop, as they may then require urgent medical care.
In most cases viral croup is mild, but some children can have severe inflammation of the airways causing difficulty breathing.
If your child begins to make noisy, high-pitched breathing sounds when breathing both in and out, makes high-pitched breathing sounds when not crying or upset, begins drooling or has problems swallowing they may have severe croup and will need urgent medical care.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a prescription. Anyone experiencing a medical condition should consult their doctor.
STAY IN THE KNOW
Keep me updated with news and knowledge
from Night Lite Pediatrics Urgent Care