What is Croup?
Croup is an infection of the larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), and bronchial tubes (airways). It often worsens at night and improves in the morning. Croup usually lasts about 3 days. However, once croup is over, the cough may persist.
Croup usually occurs during the winter months and early spring. The symptoms are most severe in children younger than 3 years of age. Symptoms can also worsen at night and when the child is crying or upset.
Symptoms of Croup
The most common symptoms are: difficulty breathing and loud cough.
You should take your child to the emergency room if he or she has any of these symptoms:
What causes Croup?
Croup is caused by a virus. It usually affects children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years. Boys are more often affected than girls.
How is Croup Transmitted?
Croup is transmitted through person to person contact.
Can Croup be Treated?
Croup can be treated. Your doctor will prescribe medicines to help the symptoms of croup. Use of a humidifier may be suggested to ease the coughing and pain.
Antibiotics will not be prescribed because croup is caused by a virus and antibiotics do not affect viruses.
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