KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Croup is one of the most common respiratory illnesses sending young kids to the hospital. It is most dangerous for babies and toddlers.
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Katy Stordahl stopped by the WATE 6 On Your Side studios to share more in this week’s Caring For Our Kids, including some common questions:
What is Croup?
Croup is a viral infection in the upper airway, around vocal cords and windpipe. Swelling in the area cases the bark-like cough. Kids under age 5 get it most often because their airways are smaller.
What are the symptoms?
May have stuffy or runny nose & fever accompany any of the following
High-pitched whistling sound when breathing in
Struggling to breathe
How do kids get Croup?
Croup spreads through coughing, sneezing and respiratory secretions. Children with croup should be considered contagious for about 3 days after illness begins or until fever is gone.
Can you treat Croup at home?
If symptoms are mild, doctors say a cool-mist humidifier may help, you can also run a hot shower to create a steam filled bathroom & sit in bathroom with your child for 20 minutes.
When should you bring a child to the ER?
If child is struggling to breathe, has pale or bluish color around mouth, can see your child’s skin around ribs pulling in with they are gasping for breath, child is having trouble swallowing – take them to the emergency room immediately.