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Croup

 

Croup is a viral infection that causes swelling of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea). It is most common in children under five and usually occurs in the fall and winter months. Symptoms include cough and fever. The cough is tight, low-pitched, and barky (like a seal). The voice, or cry, is usually hoarse. You may hear a harsh, raspy sound when your child breaths in - this is called stridor. Loud or continuos stridor may indicate severe croup. Symptoms are usually worse at night, especially the second night.  Because croup is a virus, antibiotics are not necessary to treat this illness. Mild croup can be treated at home without medication. If the croupy cough is persistent, it may be treated with a one day course of oral steroids (Orapred).

 

Below you will find a Nighttime Croup Attack Plan. You will also find the dosing chart for Orapred as you may already have this medication at home. Remember, our telephone triage service is available 24/7. 

Nighttime Croup Attack Plan

If your child is drooling unusually, is difficult to awaken, or if your child's lips, hands, or feet are blue call 911

If your child is under six months old, call the office

If your child is six months of age or older (and this is not a life-threatening emergency)

Take your child into a warm, steamy bathroom for 20 minutes

Yes

Run humidifier in your child's room (or open bedroom window), elevate your child's head in bed, push fluids, and sleep in the same room as your child

Did the cough clear?

No

Take your child outside into the cold air (or open refrigerator door to breathe in cold air) for 10 minutes

Yes

Run humidifier in your child's room (or open bedroom window), elevate your child's head in bed, push fluids, and sleep in the same room as your child

Did the cough clear?

No

Give dose of Orapred according to dosing table OR call the office if you do not have Orapred at home

Continue to use steamy bathroom or cold air therapy - Orapred takes about two hours to work

Did the cough clear?

No

Yes

Run humidifier in your child's room (or open bedroom window), elevate your child's head in bed, push fluids, and sleep in the same room as your child

Call office immediately

Call office in the morning

Orapred (prednisolone) Dosing Information:

The appropriate dose of Orapred should be taken twice a day for one day

Remember to call the office in the morning after giving Orapred

Croup almost always occurs in the middle of the night - if you have a prescription, please fill now

The medication is good for one year in the refrigerator

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