My baby has a cold and an awful barking cough, I took him to the doctor who told me he has Croup. The doctor would not prescribe any antibiotics for my baby, but told me to come back if the symptoms got worse.


I am very worried, please help.


Croup is a common childhood infection of the upper airways. It most often occurs in children from 3 months to 5 years, often in Autumn/Winter. Children are typically unwell with cold-like symptoms, a slightly raised temperature, wheezy, with a cough that sounds like a sea-lion barking. The infection is caused by a virus and so antibiotics will not help. Symptoms often get a lot worse at night. Humidifying a room can ease the breathing, this can be done either with a humidifier, or by holding your baby near a source of steam, such as a hot bath  – but please be careful to ensure your child doesn’t get burnt! If your baby gets much worse in the night and you are concerned, phone for an ambulance and they will bring nebulisers to ease the breathing. Taking your baby outside on a mild evening can ease their symptoms, however taking them out if it is very cold can make things worse.  Symptoms usually last for about 5 days. If their breathing becomes very wheezy and laboured, phone for an ambulance immediately.


Emma Hammett

First Aid for Life

0208 675 4036

First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

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