Gichuki Kimani, PHARM D


Brought to you by: REVUE PHARMACY

Croup is a common infection in young children. Croup is almost always caused by a virus. This means, antibiotics don’t help. The virus makes it hard for children to breathe because of swelling in the throat and windpipes.

How do I know if my child

has croup?

If your child sounds like a seal when they cough or makes a high-pitched whistling sound when they breathe…they probably have croup. You are much more likely to notice these sounds during the night. Your child may also have cold- or flu-like symptoms with croup, such as:

• Fever (e.g., rectal temperature above 100.4°F [38°C]; oral temperature above 99.5°F [37.5°C])

• Hoarseness (when talking or crying)

• Sore throat (throat pain can make

children not want to eat or drink)

What can I do to help my child breathe more easily?

Avoid giving your child cough syrup. Cough syrups don’t help a croup cough. But breathing in moist or cold air might help your child breathe a little easier. Try moist air first.

• Close the bathroom door and run very hot water in the shower. Sit in the steamy bathroom with your child for 15 to 20 minutes.

• Keep a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer running in your child’s room, especially at night.

If moist air doesn’t help, give cold air a try:

- In cold weather, try taking your child outside for about 10 minutes. Or you can go for a short drive in the car with the windows rolled down a little bit.

- Also, try opening the freezer door and letting your child breathe in the cold air for a few minutes.

• If moist and cold air treatments aren’t helping, call your child’s healthcare provider (even in the middle of the night). They may order a medicine to help your child breathe easier. 

What are some other ways to help my child be more comfortable?

• Keep your child calm. Crying might make symptoms worse.

• Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and has enough to drink.

• Cool drinks or eating a popsicle might help if your child has a sore throat.

• Use acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) to treat pain and fever.

     - Follow the directions on the label to

      be sure you give the right dose.

• Use pillows to prop your child’s head up in bed. Do not use pillows for children under one year old.

When should I seek immediate medical care?

Call 911 (or emergency medical services) right away if you notice your child has:

• Difficulty breathing or is unable to speak.

• Drooling or trouble swallowing.

• Pale skin or blue fingernails or lips.

• Whistling noise when breathing that gets louder with each breath.

Please call our Pharmacist at (470) 275 6795 for any other questions and advice.


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