8 Symptoms of Croup

Croup is a common respiratory illness that affects about 15% of children at some point. The majority of cases are 5 years of age and younger. It’s an infection of the throat and vocal cords, that is caused by several viruses. The lower breathing area, the bronchi, can also be affected. The affected portion of airway, usually the vocal cords and right below, becomes swollen and narrow, and breathing becomes difficult. The term croup is used for infection of children aged 5 years and under, while laryngitis is used for older children.

The infection occurs more frequently in the fall and early winter, and is more prevalent in boys. Parainfluenza viruses account for about 75% of the cases. The infection is also caused by other types of viruses, as well as measles, bacteria, allergies, and acid reflux. Children that are afflicted will be very contagious and the virus can spread through mucus, hacking, and sneezing. The sickness might start off with cold symptoms like a runny or stuffy nose, and then lead to congestion and hoarseness. Stridor may also be present; this term means a harsh vibrating noise when breathing. Your child may also have a high temperature and their breathing may sound more like wheezing. Symptoms are usually worse at night and some may come on very suddenly.

1. Cough

Barky coughing, similar to how a seal sounds, is one of the main signs of croup. The virus that brings about the infection causes the airways to become inflamed, and a barky hacking sound is one of the telltale signs of the sickness. The respiratory illness causes a change in breathing that triggers hacking. Some of the viral infections that cause croup in a young child can manifest differently in an older child or adult, causing only a sore throat. Children with croup often suffer with hacking fits, especially at night, so its difficult for them to get sufficient rest. They wake frequently throughout the night and this often exacerbates their level of irritability and discomfort.