When my son woke up with a barking cough and a fever, I knew it was croup. Croup is often caused by viral infections resulting in vocal cord swelling. As those cords swell, the airway narrows which results in a barking cough and hoarse, raspy breathing.  In severe cases, the child can have labored breathing and rarely, suffocate as the vocal cords swell shut.
Fortunately, I’m a pediatrician and I am able to recognize the signs and symptoms of croup.   Because this was mild, I treated my son by calming him down as we cuddled in front of a humidifier.  We also gave him some ibuprofen to treat his fever. Ever since my son had a severe case in the past, I’ve always kept a dose of steroids in the house to help reduce the vocal cord swelling if needed. If I wasn’t a pediatrician, we would have ended up in the ER for hours of observation and a dose of steroids (just in case). Because we would have spent the whole night in the ER, my wife and I would have likely missed the next day of work.
For the majority of kids, an ER visit is not necessary if they had access to medical care in the middle of the night. Rivertowns Pediatrics offers house calls for members.  Skip the ER and call me.  I will see you and your child in the comfort of your home.
-Dr. Gupta



Nitin Gupta, M.D., F.A.A.P, is a board-certified general pediatrician who has a passion for delivering the best possible care for your child.

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