Getting some sort of sinus funk is standard in Louisiana’s wet and pollen-rich environment, but sometimes, it can develop into more, especially for the youngest member of your family. While coughing often happens with any illness, listening to the sound of the cough is crucial. If your little one’s cough is more of a “barky” sound, your child’s sinus issue could instead be something more. It could be croup.

The American Academy of Pediatrics explains, “Croup is a condition that causes swelling of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea). The swelling causes the airway below the vocal cords to become narrow and makes breathing noisy and difficult. Children are most likely to get croup between three months and five years of age.” Dr. Ann Kay Logarbo with Children’s International Medical Group adds, “Croup is usually preceded by cold symptoms and low-grade fever, followed by a hoarse, barky, persistent cough.” Since the virus that causes croup causes respiratory inflammation and swelling around the larynx, it leads to harsh coughing, and sometimes, discomfort.

When it comes to helping your child through the symptoms of croup, it’s important to keep him calm. Dr. Logarbo advises, “Keep the child as calm as possible. Agitation makes the symptoms worse.” Along with helping keep him calm, Dr. Logarbo adds that medications can be used for the symptoms as well. She says, “Often, physicians will prescribe a short burst of steroids to reduce the swelling around the larynx and ease the discomfort.” This will happen after a clinical diagnosis, and because this is a viral infection, antibiotics will often not help your kiddo feel better.

After diagnosis, croup will eventually go away in 48-72 hours. However, it’s never fun when your child is sick, and with such a harsh-sounding cough as croup causes, it can be even more stressful. It’s important to keep him calm (and yourself), and be sure to reach out to your doctor to make sure your little one is on the right track back to healthy. 

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