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Three month old Baby on a sheepskin.

The immune system of a young child is still developing, which is why kids are highly susceptible to infections. One common illness in young children is croup, which causes a characteristic barking cough. Kids between three months and five years of age are at an increased risk of getting croup. If your child develops a barking cough, an urgent care doctor can help you learn how to comfort your child while the infection clears up.

Understanding Croup

Croup is an infection of the upper airways. Most often, it’s caused by a virus. That barking cough occurs as a result of the swelling around the vocal cords. Although the coughing sounds alarming, most cases of croup are relatively mild and most children recover in three to five days.

Identifying Croup

At first, croup will seem like a common cold. If the upper airway becomes inflamed enough, the child can develop a barking cough. He or she may also make a whistling sound when breathing in. This is known as stridor. The barking cough tends to worsen at night. It can also worsen in response to the child’s crying, anxiety, or agitation, so try to keep your child calm. Other symptoms may include a hoarse voice, fever, and labored breathing.

Knowing When to Seek Urgent Care

Most children with croup don’t require emergency care. However, you should rush your child to the urgent care center right away if you notice these symptoms:

  • Stridor with both inhalation and exhalation
  • Drooling or difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blue or grayish skin around the fingernails, nose, or mouth
Comforting Your Child at Home

There are a few things you can do to comfort your child at home while waiting for the infection to run its course. Keep your child hydrated. Children may find frozen popsicles or warm soup soothing to the throat. Encourage your child to rest. If he or she seems to have trouble getting comfortable while lying down, prop the upper body up with pillows. This can make breathing easier.

When your child isn’t feeling well, you need pediatric care you can count on. Paramount Urgent Care is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day to serve your family. Serving all of Orlando, Lake, Polk, Sumter, Osceola, and Seminole Counties. Please visit our contact us page for a location near you or call 352-674-9218.

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