Croup - Signs and Concerns

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Describe your child's croup signs or symptoms. What were your concerns?

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What warning signs should parents look for with croup?

The major concern in croup is the accompanying breathing difficulties as the upper airway narrows. Close monitoring of the child's breathing is important. The child should be especially observed at night or when napping for breathing difficulty. The doctor should be notified if the child is having progressive breathing difficulty, unusual drooling, agitation or restlessness, fever over 103 F, or if the parent feels frightened.

The breathing difficulties seen in croup can progress rapidly, turning into a life-threatening emergency. On rare occasions, a child must be rushed by ambulance into the emergency room because of serious breathing problems. Signs of serious trouble include swallowing difficulty, nonstop drooling, bluish discoloration of the skin or lips (cyanosis), sucking in of the chest, and rapid breathing (over 60 breaths per minute).

While most children recover from croup without hospitalization, some children can develop life-threatening breathing difficulties. Therefore, close contact with the doctor during this illness is important.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: coliv, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 11

My grandson will sleep sometimes so quietly I have to make sure he is breathing but as soon as he wakes up the coughing begins. He gets croup 2 to 3 times a year since he was 6 months old and he has asthma, both of which cause bronchitis requiring emergency room visits. One time he got so bad he did not stop coughing for 3 months! I about cried every time he had a coughing fit as I know it made his body hurt so much! He sure is a tough little guy acted like it was nothing. We all know steroids are the worst in so many ways but early use results in much less of the drug being needed 2 to 3 days versus 5 to 10 days.

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