Croup is a common infection that causes swelling in the trachea (windpipe) and larynx (voice box).
Croup occurs in children six months to 12 years of age. It is most common in children one to three years of age. Because croup is caused by a virus, it can spread to other children through coughing and sneezing. The virus also is spread by dirty hands, shared toys, and shared drinking glasses or spoons and forks.
Most cases of mild croup can be treated at home. Children often like to sit up or be held upright. Crying can make the symptoms worse, so keep your child quiet and comfortable. Your child should have lots of rest and plenty to drink. Cough medicines usually don’t help. You can give your child acetaminophen (brand name: Children’s Tylenol) or ibuprofen (brand name: Children’s Advil or Motrin) for fever or chest discomfort.