This upper airway infection is most common in young children. It causes a barking cough and makes breathing difficult.


Croup is most often caused by a virus. An infected person spreads it to others in droplets when they cough or sneeze. The droplets can be breathed in. Or, they can land on surfaces and get on the hands on anyone who touches those surfaces. Then, the virus can spread from the hands to the eyes, nose or mouth.


What are the symptoms? Children with croup tend to have a loud, barking cough that gets worse with crying. They may have a hoarse voice, and they may struggle to breathe. When they breathe in, you may hear a whistling sound. Croup can also cause a fever. These symptoms are usually worse at night.


Most children who have croup get better at home in about three to five days. A humidifier may help symptoms. So can sitting in a bathroom with a hot shower running to create steam. Give your child plenty of fluids, and make sure they are getting enough rest. If your child's symptoms aren't getting better after three to five days, or if their symptoms are getting worse, get medical help. Your doctor will create a care plan that's right for you.