Croup is a viral illness which causes a swelling around the voice box.

Your child may have a cough that sounds like a dog or a seal barking. The cough can be worse at night, and your child's voice may be hoarse or raspy and they might complain of a sore throat.

If you think your child has croup, the Pediatricians at Henry Ford recommend trying the following:

  • Stay calm. Croup can be frightening to both you and your child. When your child gets scared, the cough can get worse.
  • Use a cool-mist vaporizer or a pan of water on the radiator in your child's room.
  • Take your child into a closed bathroom with a hot shower running, and sit with your child for 20 to 30 minutes so he or she can breathe the steam. The steam will help relieve congestion.
  • Dress your child appropriately and take them outside into the cool air for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Give your child plenty of fluids.
  • If your child has a fever, giving them acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help bring the fever down.

Call your Henry Ford Pediatrician at 1-800-HENRYFORD (1-800-436-7936) for a same-day appointment or go to the nearest, pediatric emergency department if:

  • Your child does not improve after trying the above treatments.
  • Your child's breathing gets worse or he or she turns blue.
  • Your child appears to have so much trouble breathing that he or she does not play, drink liquids or sleep for more than 30 minutes.
  • Your child has difficulty swallowing or starts drooling.
  • Your child develops a high fever which does not get better with acetaminophen.
  • Your child's cough is not better in four to five days.
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Henry Ford Health is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email [email protected].

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