Croup: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Croup Causes

Croup: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, and Health

Croup is a viral infection that affects the airways in young children. It is most common in children between six months and three years old. Symptoms include a loud, barking cough, labored breathing, and a hoarse voice. If serious, croup can lead to respiratory problems. Thankfully, there are treatments and prevention methods available for croup.

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What Causes Croup?

Generally, croup is caused by a type of virus called a parainfluenza virus. This virus affects the throat and voice box, usually due to being spread from person to person. Croup may also be the result of other respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold.

Symptoms of Croup

The main symptom of croup is a loud, barking cough. This is distinct from a regular cough and is often described by parents as sounding like a seal. Other symptoms of croup include labored breathing, a hoarse voice, and a high fever. In rare cases, croup may lead to more severe symptoms such as severe difficulty breathing, a bluish tinge to the skin, and drooling.

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Treatment and Prevention

Fortunately, croup is treatable. Treatment usually centers on relieving the symptoms with medications and breathing treatment. Medications for croup include acetaminophen for fever and sore throat, and inhaled treatments for the airways. For more serious cases, an oral steroid may be used.

The best way to prevent croup is to take steps to avoid the parainfluenza virus. This means regularly washing your hands with soap and water, not sharing utensils, and staying away from people who might be sick.

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Croup and Health

Croup is generally a mild illness, but can be serious in some cases. It is important to monitor your child’s symptoms and contact a doctor if your child is having difficulty breathing or is experiencing other symptoms. With the right treatment and prevention methods, croup can be managed and kept under control.

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