If you’re a parent, you’re probably well-aware of the symptoms that croup causes. The scary-sounding cough and difficulty breathing that your child faces when he or she gets croup is nothing to take lightly, but croup, as a whole, is more bark and less bite.
Can croup affect adults, though? Our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road team provides some helpful answers on this below, so keep reading!
What Is Croup?
Croup is an infection that affects the upper respiratory system, including the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe). It causes swelling and inflammation of these organs, which then causes a loud “barking” cough and difficult breathing. It’s common in young children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years, and it most often occurs during the fall and winter months.
We’ve listed the common symptoms of croup below.
Common Symptoms of Croup
- A barking cough
- High-pitched or noisy breathing (stridor)
- Hoarseness or loss of voice
- Low-grade fever
- Runny or stuffy nose
Is Croup Contagious to Adults?
Since croup is often caused by a virus (usually by the parainfluenza viruses), it can be spread to anyone; however, if the virus is spread to an adult, it doesn’t manifest itself the same way among adults as it does among children.
The reason for this is because adult airways are larger and more developed than a child’s, which means that the swelling and inflammation that croup causes won’t be as severe. If an adult does experience croup-like symptoms, they’re usually mild and include a light cough or sore throat. Although, like we said earlier, it’s very rare that this happens. If your child gets croup, it can usually be treated at home, and we’ve listed some ways to do so below.
Ways to Treat Croup at Home
- Hold your child in a comfortable upright position. Sitting upright may make breathing easier.
- Make sure your child is staying hydrated. Water can work to flush out all types of infections, including croup.
- Encourage rest. Sleep can help your child fight the infection.
- Try a fever reducer. If your child has a fever, OTC medications like acetaminophen can help.
- Skip the cold medications. OTC cold medicines aren’t recommended for children of any age, and they can be harmful in children less than 2 years of age. Plus, they won’t help croup.
Do you have further questions about croup? If so, our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road team can answer them! Don’t hesitate to call or visit us today.