The croup, usually caused by a viral infection CAN result in respiratory failure. The croup patients I see are usually little boys under 6 and even in the best situations, an ER visit is stressful for a child and definitely for parents.
There are some things you can do to avoid an emergency room visit and make sure this virus doesn't progress to a critical situation. I always urge parents to try and recognize when croup is serious and when it is not. So lets talk about symptoms.
That "barking" cough, fever, hoarseness, and stridor, that raspy gasping sound when your child breathes in - all tell tale signs of Croup.
You can expect it to last about 5-6 days with symptoms peaking on the 2nd or third day. Croup is almost ALWAYS worse at night and it's contagious so try to protect other family members by limiting their exposure and washing hands a lot until fever subsides! Also, keep your child home from school to protect other kids.
Since this illness can be life threatening make sure you're aware of any worsening symptoms. You can sit your child up to help him breathe easier with moist humidified air, encourage lots of fluids and use Tylenol or ibuprofen for fever and be sure to avoid smoke exposure. Your child should be fully recovered in about a week
Now a Croup vaccine is currently in developmentand it's my hope that someday…this loud and potentially dangerous childhood illness will be a thing of the past.