The Scoop on Croup – Facts and Remedies

Wonder Twin powers…ACTIVATE!

Techie Tuesday today is about the latest in medical news from the Hansen House. We’re keeping the doctors at the local ER hopping these days!

Baby Girl went to the ER Sunday night with what turned out to be croup.

It was nerve-wracking to hear our kid literally gasping for breath, but everyone survived and Babykins is doing great.

What is croup?

I didn’t really know, so I thought y’all might not either. Croup is a swelling of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea). It’s more dangerous in kids because their airways are smaller than ours but we get it too.


  • It can be caused by allergies, bacteria, or inhaling an irritant, but it’s usually a virus.
  • Most of the time, the Big Bad is the parainfluenza virus, but other viruses like RSV, adenovirus, influenza, or the measles can also trigger croup.
  • Croup is most common in kids between 6 months and 3 years but any age can get it.
  • The illness is most common between October-March. THREE peeps from the ER said it’s “croup season right now.”
  • Most cases of croup today are not serious, but severe cases can require hospitalization.

What IS this strange place?

Treatments for croup:

Our ER doc was fantastic. He’s a dad and said that on the East Coast, they’d treat croup like this at home:

  1. Keep the humidifier on overnight (cool-air is best).
  2. Leave the windows open if you can.
  3. The airways are most likely to swell and get blocked during sleep so if your kid wakes up, take them into a steamy bathroom for 10 minutes, then either go outside if you live in a cold area, or open the freezer if you’re here on the West Coast.

He said it works like a charm for croup and asthma. Baby Girl got a single oral dose of steroids and she was dramatically improved by Monday morning.

Here are more home remedies from the Mayo Clinic.

Note about steroids:

I’m not a huge fan of steroids, so I was a little antsy-pants about giving them to my daughter. I felt a lot better after I read this great article on steroid use in the treatment for croup.

I just wanted to see if there were any side effects we weren’t told about because she was SO much better the next day. The only thing I saw across three websites was hunger and mild crabbiness with prednisone but no one mentioned anything about the dexamethasone they’re using for croup.

This is my fave photo EVER, just before we went home.

Have you or your loved ones ever had croup? How did you treat it? What do you know?? Enquiring minds want your wisdom here at More Cowbell!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
This entry was posted in Health, Life's Challenges, Parenting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to The Scoop on Croup – Facts and Remedies

  1. I’m glad to hear Baby Girl is doing better. It’s terrifying when your kids have difficulties with breathing. Thank you for sharing the story. I had never heard of croup before. I always learn something new at your blog 🙂


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Reetta. I wonder if they call it something different over there? The kids get a cough that sounds like a barking seal and they have trouble breathing. It’s a very distinct sound. Now that I’ve heard it, I will NEVER forget it.


  2. gingercalem says:

    Delaney just got over parainfluenza and she did have that croupy-voice. (no cough, thank goodness) Ironically, I’m going to post my best home-remedy on my WB Wed blog tomorrow. So great minds think alike. I’m glad she’s better. It’s the most awful sound and feeling when our babies can’t breathe right.

    That picture is truly adorable!


  3. I totally understand why you panicked. I panic when I can’t breathe. I can’t imagine watching that happen with your adorable little girl. I love the sentiments in the pictures you posted. So glad she’s doing better. She’s too, too cute!

    During a recent dental procedure the dentist cautioned me to breathe through my nose so I wouldn’t fog up his mirror. He was trying to plant a crown. With that caution, I focused on breathing through my nose and — at first — could not command my nasal passages to exhale. I had to take my brain to my happy place (my imaginary tree house) in order to relax and breathe.

    I can not believe I missed an undies chronicles post. My cousin is in town and we planned to go to WinStar Casino to claim the fortune with our name(s) on it. By the time I got showered and ready, it was “GO Time.” To console myself, I took the liberty of playing around in comments.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Sweet, Gloria… It’s funny, about you trying to breathe out through your nose. I have the hardest time doing that! We’re so used to breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. It’s freaky when you can’t.

      And on the Undie Chronicles front – I think you romped through the comments in fantastic fashion!


  4. Fallon says:

    my daughter got croup for the first time at 13 months, and it seemed that every time she had a cold, it would turn into croup. Her doctor said some kids are more prone to it. She’s 5 now and so far this year, she’s been good. Last year was really bad. She had it probably 4-5 times, the first time the end of July. As long as we gave her the steroid pill when she started showing signs, we could avoid the not being able to breathe. Taking her out in the cool air or into the steamy bathroom never seemed to help her very much. That is one of the scariest things.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Fallon, how dreadful! Having seen it once, I have no desire to repeat it. I appreciate the great tips – you and Kathy (below) have set me up in stellar mommy style. Thank you!


  5. K.B. Owen says:

    It was scary times in our house when our kids got croup. The ones with asthma and allergies (all 3 of our guys) are more likely to pick it up, for some reason. When our oldest (now a 6’2″ 19-yo) was a baby, it was really scary. The first time I heard that bark coming from his bedroom late at night, I was thinking The Exorcist, and expecting his head to be spinning around, LOL.

    Unfortunately, it happened so frequently with the little guy that we became old pros at it: steamy shower, followed by bundling him up and sitting with him out in the back yard, or in some cases (because his barking would wake up the neighbors), strapping him into his car seat, piling blankets on him, and driving around the neighborhood in the middle of the night, with all the windows rolled down, freezing our butts off. Folks must have thought we were nuts. A couple of times, we had no choice but to go to the ER. While the other two got croup, theirs wasn’t nearly as bad or as frequent as the first one. But it was all a happy ending, and each kid is nice and healthy now!

    So glad it is a happy ending for you, too, Jenny, and that Baby Girl is all healthy again! Thanks for sharing your tips with everyone!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh my God! You had to get up and drive with the windows open?!! The things we do for our kids. I wonder if they ever appreciate it before they’re parents themselves… I don’t know if I gave my mom all the homage she deserved. 🙂


  6. Lottie Nevin says:

    Poor baby, poor Mummy! Only one of my five ever suffered from croup but she grew out of it. It’s very scary if you are unfamiliar with it – it sounds so painful. I used to sit Georgia on my lap and get her to lean over into the sink which I’d fill with very hot water and eucalyptus oil. If she could bear it I’d cover her head with a towel so that she got a whole load of the vapours and steam. It really did do the trick. Inevitably this always happened in the middle of the night, just when you are running low on steam yourself. – Hope your baby makes a full recovery xx


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Lottie! That’s a great tip. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get her to do the towel, but certainly, I’m going to use the menthol packet tip that Ginger refers to in her home remedies post (see link toward the top of the comments section).


  7. amyskennedy says:

    Yikes! Glad she’s doing better.


  8. Jane Sadek says:

    Oh Jenny. As if you didn’t have enough happening in your household. Praying for you and yours!!


  9. Jae says:

    Glad she’s getting better! 😀


  10. Cory Imhof says:

    Hey sis,
    I’m so glad she is feeling better. Croup can be nasty! Vicks majes a great priduct you can put into the humidifier that makes the steam mentholy. We love it for colds. These pictures of babygirl and daddy are great!
    Big hugs! I’m glad everyone is in the mend.


  11. zkullis says:

    Glad it was Croup. There is nothing quite as horrific as watching somebody you love go through something like that, and NOT be able to do anything for them. I’m glad she is doing better and that y’all are armed with the know-how to take care of future issues.

    That photo speaks volumes on the relationship baby girl has with your man.


  12. man, you are having a time of it! I had one who was prone to the croup. luckily she grew out of it. hugs!!!! (this reminds me of Anne of Green Gables!)


  13. Jess Witkins says:

    Oh my gosh, Jenny! I hope life takes it easy on you guys for awhile. Poor Babykins, indeed! I hope that last picture is an indicator as to how she’s feeling now, it is precious! Hugs to you guys!

    Jess’ Sickness Cures – also works for exhaustion 😉 Try green tea, pajamas all day, a big blanket, and a stack of your favorite movies. Take a bath if possible with your favorite scents, and eat hummus for a snack. Journal to release your mind.


  14. This was good to know. I’m on the lookout constantly for coughs and colds with the kids right now. Currently, the twins are battling ear infections, and I’m about to have the baby checked as well. Hopefully it’s not a terrible winter for this type of stuff. Great info, Jenny!


  15. Pingback: What Crossfit Is Teaching Me About Writing, Part 1 | Jenny Hansen's Blog

Comments are closed.