Table of Contents
- Croup facts
- What is croup? What causes croup?
- Is croup contagious? How does croup spread?
- What is the incubation period for croup?
- What are croup symptoms?
- How is the diagnosis of croup established?
- What is the treatment for croup? Are there home remedies for croup?
- How long is the contagious period for croup?
- What warning signs should parents look for with croup?
- Is it possible to prevent croup?
- What is the prognosis if my child develops croup?
Quick GuideChildhood Illnesses: A Parenting Guide to Sick Kids
How is the diagnosis of croup established?
The diagnosis of croup is most commonly made by obtaining the characteristic history of sudden-onset of hoarse voice, barky cough, stridor during inhalation, and the possibility of low-grade fever. While the child may appear rather ill, the child does not have a look of pure panic or terror. There can be high fever (> 103 F), sitting forward positioning, and excessive drooling. A recent exposure to another child with croup helps to confirm the diagnosis. Laboratory tests are rarely necessary and are mostly limited to severe situations where concern regarding a secondary bacterial infection may have developed and is superimposed upon the primary viral process. A particular X-ray orientation of the neck will often show a characteristic elongated narrowing of the region called a "steeple sign." Such an X-ray finding is confirmatory for croup. Rarely will consultation with an otolaryngologist (ENT physician) be necessary to have a direct visual examination of the patient's airway. Such a procedure is termed fiberoptic laryngoscopy and is indicated if there is a concern for an anatomical malformation of the upper airway, possible aspiration of a foreign object, or should the child rapidly deteriorate or not respond to routine therapy in the anticipated manner.
Most infants are routinely immunized against the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). When the child is not immunized against Hib, the possibility of a more ominous, deep bacterial infection called epiglottitis exists. Continue Reading
Malhotra, A., and L.R. Krilor. "Viral Croup." Pediatrics in Review 22.1 Jan. 2001: 5-12.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Human Parainfluenza Viruses (HPIVs)." Aug. 18, 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/parainfluenza/index.html>.
Woods, Charles R. "Patient Information: Croup in Infants and Children." UptoDate.com. Aug. 18, 2010. <http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=~IJIXh1W5371lMy>. IMAGES:
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