The Croup Got My Babies

The Croup Got My Babies
The Croup Got My Babies

It all started before Thanksgiving. My six-year old started coughing and it just didn’t sound good. We took him to the after-hours pediatrician to find out  he had Croup.

In the days following his diagnosis and then recovery, our 20-month old came down with it. As he was recovering, our little four-month old Zeke caught it.

What is croup?

While I like to think of croup as some ugly monster that has stolen my babies for the last few weeks, it is actually an infection in the upper airway that leads to swelling inside the throat. This nasty monster interferes with normal breathing and creates a barking type sound when your child coughs.

It’s ugly. It’s scary. I hate it.

This is more on croup from Wikipedia:

croup cough
Croup causes a nasty barking cough. Image source:

Croup, is a respiratory condition that is usually triggered by an acute viral infection of the upper airway. The infection leads to swelling inside the throat, which interferes with normal breathing and produces the classical symptoms of a “barking” cough, stridor, and hoarseness. It may produce mild, moderate, or severe symptoms, which often worsen at night. It is often treated with a single dose of oral steroids; occasionally epinephrine is used in more severe cases. Hospitalization is rarely required.

Croup is diagnosed on clinical grounds, once potentially more severe causes of symptoms have been excluded (i.e. epiglottitis or an airway foreign body). Further investigations—such as blood tests, X-rays, and cultures—are usually not needed. It is a relatively common condition that affects about 15% of children at some point, most commonly between 6-months and 5—6 years of age. It is almost never seen in teenagers or adults.

According to our doctor, Croup typically doesn’t strike after five years old.  So it was unusual for our six-year-old to have it and then to find out our four-month old had caught it as well — we should of bought a lottery ticket. We’re just THAT lucky.

Croup, thankfully is somewhat short-lived. We are on day three with the baby and he is getting better, slowly but surely.

Our oldest was the only one given steroids. For the 20-month-old, we used Motrin to help reduce the swelling in his throat and for his fever. Since our baby Zeke is too young for Motrin (typically recommended not to use under six months), we used Tylenol to help soothe him. Zeke had only a slight fever, but did have a lot of discomfort. A humidifier has become our best friend since dealing with croup.

Here is my 20-month-old. You can hear the raspy breathing, barky cough … and it gets worse when he cries. Not fun.

Both our six-year-old and our four-month-old’s cases of Croup were much less severe than our 20-month-old (the one whose age falls directly in the line of fire for croup).

Nothing breaks the heart of a mommy more than to see her babies sick.

Have You Had to Fight Croup in Your Familiy?


Read more from Molly at or follow her adventures on twitter @digitalmolly.

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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