How can I treat croup?

See your doctor. A single dose of steroids often helps the child clear this sooner. Seeing your doctor insures the proper diagnosis and will get you the prescription that you need. Watch http://www.Youtube.Com/watch?V=bf5sxehpgck to learn more about croup.
If mild. Croup is usually mild illness managed at home. Help with cool m?ist, placing child near vaporizerI if you do not have a cool mist vaporizer, even a simple humidifier in child’s bedroom may be helpful. Seek ER ifcool mist not clearing up stridor in 15 minutes, repeated episodes of stridor or trouble breathing child’s chest or stomach retracting, bluish lips,lethargy,drooling,neck pain,stiffness.
Cool mist or steam. Croup is a common viral upper respiratory infection that causes a barky cough and noisy breathing (stridor). A cool mist vaporizer or steam from the shower can decrease the symptoms. In more severe cases, oral steroids or breathing treatments are required to reduce the inflammation.
Cool mist. • The croupy cough is tight, low-pitched, and barky (like a barking seal) • The voice or cry is hoarse (laryngitis) Stridor: a complication of croup • Stridor is a harsh, raspy sound heard with breathing in • Loud or continuous stridor means severe croup • All stridor is best treated with cool mist. Some suggestions are cool air from your freezer, automobile A/C, or go outside if its cool. Give this about 15 minutes. • We see quite a few children in the Emergency Department with complete resolution of stridor simply by being exposed to cool aire on the trip over to the ED. Cause • Usually a parainfluenza virus See more appropriate topic (instead of this one) if • It doesn't sound like croup, see cough • Tight purring sound when breathing out, see wheezing When to Call Your Doctor • Severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, unable to speak or cry because of difficulty breathing, continuous severe stridor) • Child has passed out or stopped breathing • Lips are bluish when not coughing • Croup started suddenly after bee sting, taking a medicine or allergic food • Child is drooling, spitting or having great difficulty swallowing (EXCEPTION: drooling due to teething) • Difficulty breathing (age over 1 year old) present when not coughing • Lips have turned bluish during coughing • Ribs are pulling in with each breath (retractions) • Child can't bend the neck forward • Severe chest pain • Age less than 6 months with any stridor • Weak immune system (sickle cell disease, HIV, chemotherapy, organ transplant, chronic steroids, etc) • Fever over 104° F (40° C) and not improved 2 hours after fever medicine Home Care Advice for Croupy Cough Reassurance • Most children with croup just have a barky cough. • Some develop tight breathing (called stridor). • Remember that coughing up mucus is very important for protecting the lungs from pneumonia. • We want to encourage a productive cough, not turn it off. Humidifier If the air is dry, run a humidifier in the bedroom. (Reason: Dry air makes croup worse.) Homemade cough medicine • Goal: reduce the irritation or tickle in the throat that triggers a dry cough. • AGE: 3 months to 1 year: Give warm clear fluids (e.g., water or apple juice) to treat the cough. Amount: 1-3 teaspoons (5-15 ml) four times per day when coughing. Avoid honey until 1 year old. • AGE 1 year and older: Use HONEY ½ to 1 teaspoon (2-5 ml) as needed as a homemade cough medicine. It can thin the secretions and loosen the cough. (If not available, can use corn syrup.) • AGE 6 years and older: Use COUGH DROPS to coat the irritated throat. (If not available, can use hard candy.) Non-prescription cough medicine (DM) • Non-prescription cough medicines are not recommended. (Reason: no proven benefit for children). Never use them under 4 years of age. (Reason: risk of serious side effects and not approved by FDA) • Honey has been shown to work better for coughs.
Cool or moist air. Bringing your child into a "steamy bathroom" or outside into cool air is often helpful. For more severe croup, physicians often prescribe steroids. These can be give orally or in a pump nebulizer for the child to breathe in.