What Are the Symptoms of Croup?

Croup usually starts as a cold. Your child might have a runny or stuffy nose and a fever. But it doesn’t take long before your little one’s symptoms turn into something else. Here are the signs your child may have croup:

Call your doctor if symptoms don’t improve after 3 to 5 days or they get worse. See your doctor right away if your child:

  • Makes a noisy, high-pitched breathing sound (doctors call it “stridor”) when she breathes in or out
  • Starts drooling or has a hard time swallowing
  • Is anxious, agitated, or has no energy
  • Breathes much faster than usual
  • Has a hard time breathing (chest muscles pull in)
  • Turns gray or blue around her nose, mouth, or fingernails
  • Seems to be dehydrated, with dry lips or tongue, and/or no urine output
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on May 17, 2019



Mayo Clinic: “Croup Symptoms and Causes.”

KidsHealth: “Croup.”

UpToDate: “Patient Education: Croup in Infants and Children (Beyond the Basics).”

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