Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content


Croup - What it is

Croup is a viral infection of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea). Swelling of the vocal cords cause hoarseness, and children with croup may also have a tight, low-pitched "barking" cough.

Stridor occurs as the opening between the vocal cords becomes narrower. This is a high-pitched, squeaking sound heard when your child breathes in, and may be more obvious with crying or coughing. As the disease becomes worse, stridor may be heard even when your child is asleep or relaxed.

Expected Course

Croup usually lasts for 3 to 7 days, and the symptoms are worse in young children under 3 years of age.

Croup - Symptoms

Croup - How to prevent?

Croup - Causes and Risk Factors

Croup - Diagnosis

Croup - Treatments

Croup - Preparing for surgery

Croup - Post-surgery care

Croup - Other Information

​Home Care For Children With Croup

  • As with all viral infections, ensure lots of fluids and rest for your child. Most cases of croup are mild, and do not require hospitalisation.
  • Medications: Your doctor may prescribe a steroid to your child to reduce the swelling of the windpipe and vocal cords. In some severe cases, an inhalation treatment with adrenaline and oxygen may also be given.
  • Warm, moist air: You can run a hot shower to create a steam-filled bathroom where you can sit with your child for 5-10 minutes. This can sometimes help your child breathe easier and stop coughing bouts.
  • Smoke exposure: Avoid having anyone smoke near your child, as this may make your child's symptoms worse.
  • Close observation: You may consider sleeping in the same room as your child when he is ill, so that you can monitor him more closely.
  • Consult your doctor if:
    • your child's breathing is fast or difficult
    • your child's stridor recurs or is persistent
    • your child is lethargic
    • there is poor feeding and there are signs of dehydration (dry lips/mouth, reduced tears, sunken eyes, reduced urine, reduced activity)
    • Your child appears pale or blue - LATE SIGN!
    • your child has an underlying medical problem (eg. prematurity, heart or lung disease, muscle weakness etc.)
    • the symptoms persist for more than a week
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth