Croup: Learn what croup is and what you can do to help your baby

What can/should be done at home

  • When the symptoms of croup arise, it can be quite frightening both for the child and parent. Crying and anxiousness make croup worse by causing additional tightness around the windpipe; therefore, being calm and calming your child can help tremendously. Next, there are several interventions that may help relieve the symptoms of croup:
  • One of the most effective things is for the child to breathe cold air, and since croup often occurs in the winter and at night, just going outside for 10 to 15 minutes can do wonders. The cold air decreases the swelling of the windpipe much like ice decreases the swelling of sprained ankle. Bundle your child up well, and let him or her breathe the cold air.
  • Mist from a steam bath may help. Go into the bathroom, shut the door and turn on the hot water in the bathtub full blast, being careful not to let the child near the water.
  • Use a vaporizer to let her breathe in the moist air.

When to get immediate attention

  • If you think your child may have inhaled an object or food -- an object caught in the windpipe may cause many symptoms similar to croup
  • If breathing is severely impaired
  • If the child begins to drool
  • If the child has trouble swallowing
  • If the child becomes restless and cannot sleep
  • If a bluish color is seen around the lips
  • If breathing does not improve after trying the home treatments for 15 to 20 minutes
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