Croup is a condition that affects babies’ and young children’s airways. It is usually mild, but call NHS 111 or see a GP if you are worried, if they get worse, or if symptoms do not go away after 48 hours.
- A barking cough that sounds like a seal.
- A hoarse voice.
- Difficulty breathing.
- A rasping sound when breathing in.
- A child will usually have cold-like symptoms to begin with, such as a temperature, runny nose and cough.
- Croup symptoms usually come on after a few days and are often worse at night.
Croup usually gets better on its own within 48 hours, but until it does:
- sit the child upright
- comfort them if they are distressed, as crying can make symptoms worse
- give them plenty of fluids
- do not give cough or cold medicines
- do not put the child in a steamy room or get them to inhale steam.
Take the child to A&E immediately or call 999 if:
- they are struggling to breathe (you may notice their tummy sucking inwards or their breathing sounding different)
- their skin or lips start to look blue or grey
- they are unusually quiet or still
- they suddenly get a very high temperature or become very ill.
Adapted from the NHS website