Croup is a contagious condition more frequently caused by a viral infection. More rarely, it can a be the complication of a bacterial infection (known as diphtheria). Croup involves the swelling of the vocal cords, and the windpipe (trachea), which manifests as a distinctive barky cough and may be accompanied with a varied degree of difficulty breathing. This illness usually affects children six years or younger, with a peak incidence from age 6 months to 3 years, so it can be nerve wrecking and scary for parents (and children) to experience. The symptoms are worse at night, but only last about a week. There are several at-home remedies for mild cases of croup.
Waking up from a deep sleep can be frightening for any child. Add uncontrollable coughing to the mix and that is a recipe for a long, agitated night. However, if your child has croup, crying will only make the symptoms worse including stridor, which is a raspy, harsh almost gasping sound your child makes when he or she inhales. Unlike the other symptoms of croup, stridor is one that needs particular attention. It should lessen or even go away if your child is resting calmly.
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