Health Education

Croup: When to Call the Pediatrician

Croup: When to Call the Pediatrician

May 17, 2016  |   

Croup generally starts out as the common cold. However, your child may eventually develop the “croup cough”, which is much louder and sounds almost like a bark.

In most cases, the croup cough will get worse at night. This usually leads to other croup symptoms like agitation, anxiety, and crying, as the child loses sleep because of their constant coughing.

In some cases, the child will also develop a hoarse voice and fever. Due to the inflammation in their airways, they might develop labored breathing as well.

When It’s Time to Call a Pediatrician

Croup in babies often panics parents. This is understandable given symptoms like labored breathing and an inability to fall asleep. Although only about 5% of children who are taken to the ER for croup actually require hospitalization, we understand that this is little comfort when you have a young child who can’t sleep because of coughing and/or a fever.

Common symptoms that are telltale signs it’s time for professional attention include:

  •  Noisy, high-pitched sounds when they breathe
  •  Difficulty swallowing
  •  Drooling
  •  Breathing that is faster than usual
  •  Struggling for breath
  •  Developing grayish-blue skin around their mouth, nose or fingernails

If you notice any of the above, it’s best to play it safe and take your child to the ER right away. Of course, even if they don’t have the aforementioned symptoms, you may still feel better if you speak with a pediatrician or one of our experienced pediatric nurses over the phone about your child’s croup symptoms. We know how scary it can be when your child is sick, so feel free to call us at 503-981-5348 if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s health.