Some diseases seem to target childhood. One such condition is croup, a viral infection of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (wind pipe). The fist signs of croup are similar to that of a respiratory infection:

  • Barking cough
  • Runny nose
  • Troubled breathing
  • Wheezing

Trouble breathing and wheezing results from inflammation of the larynx, which puts pressure on the windpipe. Also, the bronchial passages are filled with mucus. Children ages 3 months to 6 years most often contract croup, with the most common age being around 2 years old. The tell-tale sign of croup is a cough that sounds like a dog’s bark. Croup typically lasts for 5-6 days.

Croup is highly contagious to other children. Although mild cases of croup can be manged at home, children should be kept away from siblings and home from school or play.

A rare but serious condition called epiglottitis mimics croup in the beginning but quickly progresses and includes a very high fever and drooling. Children with epiglottitis have a difficult time breathing when lying down.

Seek care from your pediatrician or an Orlando ENT specialist if your think your child may have croup or epiglottitis.

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