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Croup: How We Treat


How is croup treated?

Dr. Kerby treats a patient with Croup at Children

Croup is typically mild. Breathing in cold or moist air helps most kids feel better. You can run a hot shower to create a steam-filled bathroom where you can sit with your child for 10 minutes. You can also bundle up your child and bring him or her outside for brief stretches to breathe cool air.

If your child has a sore throat, acetaminophen or ibuprofen (in children over 6 months old) or warm beverages, such as warm milk, can make your child more comfortable.

Staying hydrated is always important in any illness. Be sure your child drinks fluids regularly.

If your child has the warning signs of croup, have your child evaluated by a medical professional. Doctors often treat croup with steroids to decrease airway swelling. In severe cases, doctors will give a breathing treatment that contains epinephrine. This reduces swelling in the airway quickly. Oxygen also may be given, and sometimes a child with croup will remain in the hospital overnight for observation.

Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for your child’s croup?

At Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Breathing Institute, our specialists are on the forefront of evaluating new medications for breathing treatments. Our researchers work to understand the conditions in pediatric cases, and then seek new ways to safely improve treatments.

In our clinics, we believe a multidisciplinary approach to breathing and lung condition management is the best way to improve quality of life for our young patients. Children's Colorado's emergency and inpatient services and the wide range of available pediatric subspecialists all contribute significantly to our ability to provide a full spectrum of care.

Extensive diagnostic testing is available when appropriate for both infants and older children. An experienced staff of doctors, nurses, dieticians, social workers, child life therapists and therapists allows families to benefit from the team approach to the evaluation and management of patients with breathing and lung conditions. Our collaborative approach also incorporates and encourages family involvement and includes close collaboration with your child’s primary healthcare provider.