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Croup

Croup is a common respiratory illness often seen in children 6 months to 36 months of age. Croup causes distinctive symptoms, including hoarseness and a barking cough, a high-pitched sound (stridor) heard when breathing in, and trouble breathing as a result of swelling or obstruction in the windpipe (trachea).

Croup is usually caused by a virus that affects the throat and upper airways but not the lungs. It often recurs until a child is 5 to 6 years old.

Symptoms of croup usually can be managed at home by humidifying the air and soothing the child. Severe symptoms may require a visit to the doctor or emergency room where the child can be given medicines to reduce airway swelling. Oxygen may be needed until breathing improves.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last Revised May 29, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 29, 2012
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