Croup usually can be managed with cool mist or steam therapy, which dissolves sticky or dried mucus in the child's breathing passages and lubricates the throat and windpipe. Because the condition commonly worsens at night, many doctors recommend that you sleep in the same room with your child or use a baby-monitoring device to listen for any change in the child's condition. Be ready to get medical help if your child doesn't improve.
Doctors recommend home care for all but the most serious cases of croup. Antibiotics are not helpful for treating viral croup. If the symptoms are severe enough, the child will be given inhaled medications such as racemic epinephrine in the emergency room. If the child is still not better, an X-ray may be taken and the child may be kept in the hospital overnight.
- Oral corticosteroids (Prednisolone, dexamethasone, and others) are sometimes used to reduce inflammation and swelling. This treatment is prescribed for those with the worst symptoms, and as a precaution for those children found to have stridor during the day, knowing that the stridor will always increase at night. The treatment starts to work in 1-2 hours and has maximum effect by 8-12 hours after it is taken.
Hirsch, David, ed. "Understanding Croup - Treatment." WebMD.com. Dec. 6, 2009. <http://children.webmd.com/