Managing a child's croup with cool mist or steam usually dissolves the mucus that interferes with breathing, and such moisture therapy lubricates the child's throat and trachea, according to WebMD. Croup typically gets worse at night, so parents should monitor the child for breathing complications. Experts recommend sleeping in the same room or using a monitor throughout the night. Doctors generally approve letting parents take care of the child at home except in severe cases.
If the air outside is cold, going for a ride in the car with a window down might relieve the child's croup, explains WebMD. Getting plenty of fluids helps break up mucus and restore easier breathing, according to MedicineNet. Parents may administer non-aspirin fever-reducing medicines, but not cold or flu over-the-counter remedies.
If home treatments fail to improve the condition, or if the symptoms worsen, the child usually needs medical intervention, states WebMD. If croup requires immediate medical treatment, the child typically receives inhaled medicine in the emergency room to help breathing. In the most severe cases, the child may need an X-ray and an overnight stay in the hospital. A doctor might prescribe oral corticosteroids, such as prednisolone or dexamethasone, to treat the inflammation and swelling croup can cause.