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What is croup cough?

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Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, a croup cough is a symptom of croup, which occurs mostly in children when their upper airways get infected. A croup cough sounds like a barking seal because croup causes inflammations around the larynx, trachea and bronchial tubes, and coughs going through smaller passages combined with the swollen larynx lead to a sound akin to barking.

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Full Answer

KidsHealth lists a runny or stuffy nose, fever and hoarseness as other symptoms of croup. Croup cough and its symptoms get worse at night and with crying. Stridor, a squeaky noise during breathing, may also occur during croup. In excessive cases, oxygen deprivation can lead to paleness or bluish tints around children's mouths. Viruses usually cause croup, and children 6 months to 3 years exhibit the most serious symptoms of the condition.

In the majority of cases, croup is minimal and can receive at-home treatment. Spasmodic croup is not viral but can occur in a child who has a small cold, notes KidsHealth. Croup cough develops, and this type of croup often recurs. Whether croup is spasmodic or viral, treatment is the same. Rest, hydration, moist air and ibuprofen or acetaminophen, if a child is older than 6 months, can help treat croup.

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