29 answers

My 9 Year Old Son Has Croup

My 9 year old Son has been diagnosed with croup. Has anyone else had a schoolage child with this? I am not sure when he can go back to school. He had a bad night again last night, so I am not sending him today. All I can find online is that he is contagious until the fever is gone, but my Son has not ran a fever. Other than that it is classic croup, including stridor the night before last. That is a creepy sound. The doctor wasn't real clear on exclusion from school. He seems better during the day than at night.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to all for your responses. My Son had already been put on a 3 day steroid burst started on Monday. We are far from symptom free during the day. It is only a bit better during the day. The nights are still virtually sleepless. Kids with croup are contagious and it is spread by droplets from the cough and sneezing. We are already doing most of the suggested advice as these are things my dr. had suggested also. My doctor has said to keep him home from school until he has a decent nights sleep, so he can be productive at school.

Those of you who are using homeopathic remedies such as herbs should be very careful and run those herbs by your dr. before you give them to your kids. Most of them are not FDA tested and can be more potent and potentially harmful than prescriptions drugs. Also dosages may not be for children. Please use caution with those types of remedies.

Featured Answers

I've had two of my children get croup. The homeopathic remedy Aconite calmed the cough and put them back to sleep within seconds. Spongia is another one to try though it didn't happen to work on my children.

2 moms found this helpful

Night time will be worse. Try to keep his room cooler. Open the windows, use a cool mist humidifier, when he gets worse have him sit outside, or in moist shower room. Time will make it better.

My daughter use to get croup often as a child. I don't remember the cough hanging on for more then a week. My youngest son had asthma which sounded a lot like the croupy cough. I use to take him in the ER because it seemed he would have it but with a breathing treatment and a shot of ephineprine (spelling isn't my strong point), he would be so much better. I took him to a ped. allergist and found out his oxygen level was very low. He put him on daily asthma meds and gave him an inhailer. Once we moved off the ranch and away from the clover, he seemed to do so much better. It could be anything from dust to mold hidden in the carpet or walls or something in his room that makes him have more coughing at night then in the day. If this continues, I would take him to an Pediatric allergist.

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I found a remedy for the croup cough that seems to work well to help them sleep at night. You buy 2 herds Burdock, Boneset , and Eucalptus. You boil all three in a cheese cloth bag then you pour that water in the humidifier along with more water. It stinks but it seem to make my daughter sleep and not cough.

2 moms found this helpful

I've had two of my children get croup. The homeopathic remedy Aconite calmed the cough and put them back to sleep within seconds. Spongia is another one to try though it didn't happen to work on my children.

2 moms found this helpful

Croup is a frustrating illness and is contagious for the first week. The worst part of it is night sleeping. There is a homeopathic remedy for croup that works like magic: Staphysagria. Homeopathic remedies are completely safe and non-toxic. Unfortunately the medical system doesn't have any pharmaceuticals for Croup and the cough syrups don't actually work very well.

I used homeopathics on my children (still do) in lieu of there being nothing else for them from the doctor's office and have been glad they are available. I have treated both of my kids with Croup with Staphysagria to good effect.

Croup is a "self-limiting" illness - it will run it's course and eventually go away. The problem is that it is so uncomfortable for the child and can run up to 10 weeks.

Give him four pellets under his tongue before bed for a good night's sleep. You can buy Staphysagria at all local food coops, Present Moment at 36th & Grand in South Minneapolis, or Mastel's on St. Claire Ave. in St. Paul.

While you are there, pick up some vitamin C and some cough syrup with zinc and elderberry - Given several times a day, these things will speed up his immune system and soothe his throat.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

We've only had Croup once here, and it is a tough thing. Nights are difficult due to the position.

Croup is caused by several viruses. Contagiousness is about the same as any other bug. When he is feeling better and getting rested, I would say it is time to send him back to school. Since he's run down, he will be more likely to pick up other bugs as well.

If he was not put on short term steroids, or a steriod inhaler, I would get a second opinion. This helped clear up our son's issues quite quickly.

For now, cold air alternating with warm steamy air is the most soothing for him. And a vaporizer at night. Could you have him try to sleep in a recliner or something?

Good luck!

V.,

my 9year old has had croup too many times and has even been close to being hospitalized from it......the Dr.'s normally give him a steroid for the cough and it is gone in a couple days, he normally never runs a fever with it just a bad (seal sound) cough. I suggest if he is bad in the middle of the night put him in a steamy shower or get a humidifier and put in his room with some vapor rub on his chest...seems to help too and I like the cough medicine called delsym, seems to help!

I hope all this is helpful, good luck!

Hi V.,
Didn't know croup was contagious. My son got it when he was that old and we just steamed hime and he seemed better. Maybe it wasn't classic croup as he never had a fever. Could he be allergic to something, is it mostly triggered in the evening? Maybe laundry det.? bleach?
Best of health,
S.
http://www.YesToSuccess.net/S.
helping families with health and wealth for almost 12 years

Both my kids 4 and 6 get croup often when they get a cold. They are fine during the day and croupy at night. As long as they are not running a fever, I usually send them off to their regular activities during the day. I treat like any other cold they may have.

My son is 2 1/2 and has had croup a few times - that barky sound is pretty scary. He has never had a fever along with croup and it is always worse at night. Thankfully, it was always in the winter so I would carry him, wrap a down comforter around us and stand out on the front steps for about 10-15 minutes looking at the stars. I encourage him to take deep breaths while we're outside. This is relaxing for him and the cold air helps immensely.

He once had croup with a touch of bronchitis and was put on an oral steriod, preceeded by an injection to get it working quickly. BE CAREFUL WITH STEROIDS. He had a terrible reaction and was basically out of him mind. He's typically very happy all the time and he wound up whinning and crying for two hours. It was a weekend so I just stopped giving him the medicine and then called the doctor on Monday. Well, stopping cold turkey isn't advisable either but they did tell me that steriods can affect kids and people very differently. He went crazy so now we know, no steriods for him ever again. I'm not trying to scare you but be aware that steriods can have different side effects that they don't tell you. If you go that route, watch his behavior and know that you're not crazy if he seems like a different person - just call the doctor if that happens.

Have you tried zone theraphy? It is amazing!

My son was 7 months old when he got croup. (Which was only a month and a half ago!) It was awful!
Here is some info my dr. gave me.
Spasmodic croup: usually caused by mild upper respiratory infection or allergy. Scary b/c it comes on suddenly in the middle of the night. May go to bed with a mild cold and wake up in a few hours, gasping for breath. Hoarse and stridor when breathing in. Cough that sounds like seal barking. Typically NO fever with spasmodic croup. This type of croup can reoccur. Similar to asthma and often responds to asthma medicines.
The danger with croup accompanied by stridor is that the airway will keep swelling.

Helpful: Sit in bathroom for 15-20 min with hot shower on and let it steam up, warm moist air should help breathing. Steam almost always works. Cold water vaporizer or humidifier in child's room at night. Inhaling moist, cool night air may help open air passages.

Medication: Steroid to reduce swelling. Bronchodilator to help w/ breathing.

Good luck!

have you tried to give him fresh air when it starts. My son had it also and it scared me to death and we rushed him to uc and by the time we got there he wasn't coughing. The Dr said that once they get air cool it takes it away. Give it a try- by the way my son never had a fever either.

R.

V. D.

The croup is not a fun thing to have. I was in the eightth grade before I grew out of it. IF your son doesnot have a fever, go ahead and send him to school. Maybe just ask the teaches if it is ok for him to have water hear him. You are right the nights will be worse, but hanging in there. You can try to put him in the bathroom with the shower on hot and just sit in the room for awhile. You are just steaming up the room to moisten his chest cavitiy. Good Luck!

R. Z.

I am a mother of four and three of my children have had croup at some point.Night time is always the worse!Have your son take a hot steamy shower or just sit in the steamed bathroom then open the bathroom door and breathe in the cold air.It doesn't take it away but does help. I know the sound of the cough is horrible but it does get better.My kids never ran a fever either.You could also try a vaporizer at night.HOpe this helps and good luck :) J.

My daugher had croupd at age4. She was only bad at nighttime. During the day she was fine and no fever either so we did everything we normally would do including daycare/work.

The croup is more common than you may think. A little info & a few tips:
Cut out dairy & wheat; they are mucus forming, increase garlic, onions, miso soup, and vegetables. have him drink lots of liquids of course; prop up on pillows while resting, enjoy lots of steam; a hot shower helps before bed, a little eucalyptus essential oil in a crock pot of steaming water in their bed room helps too. The sound you hear has to do with the dieing microbes in the lungs. They give off a kind of toxin. It just takes time to detox that all out. So, in a way it's a good thing, because they are dead. It won't be long and you'll have a happy vibrant son again!
Your warning about homeopathic remedies and herbal medicine sounds like it came straight from a medical doctor.

Night time will be worse. Try to keep his room cooler. Open the windows, use a cool mist humidifier, when he gets worse have him sit outside, or in moist shower room. Time will make it better.

My daughter use to get croup often as a child. I don't remember the cough hanging on for more then a week. My youngest son had asthma which sounded a lot like the croupy cough. I use to take him in the ER because it seemed he would have it but with a breathing treatment and a shot of ephineprine (spelling isn't my strong point), he would be so much better. I took him to a ped. allergist and found out his oxygen level was very low. He put him on daily asthma meds and gave him an inhailer. Once we moved off the ranch and away from the clover, he seemed to do so much better. It could be anything from dust to mold hidden in the carpet or walls or something in his room that makes him have more coughing at night then in the day. If this continues, I would take him to an Pediatric allergist.

Two of my children have had croup at least 3 times a year for the past 6 years. This is the first year they have not had croup. It is scary when they start 'panting' and can't breathe. It is contagious, but once the fever is gone and your son has a good night's sleep, then he should be alright to go back to school.

Steam and then cold air open up the lungs. I steam the kids in the bathroom for 20 minutes or over a steamy bowl of water. Then, either open the door for the cool fresh air outside or let them get air from the freezer. This helps tremendously, plus have his head elevated while sleeping. For the first couple of nights, I had to sit upright with my children in order for them to breathe and feel some comfort.

Children normally do grow out of having the croup. I hope he feels better soon.

Also, there is a steroid injection or oral steroid that the physician can prescribe if the stridor doesn't subside. Its not always the case that the steroid is needed and the oral works just as well as the injection.

My 6 year old son was diagnosed with croup about 2 months ago. His doctor but him on a steroid for 3 days along with an antibiotic. This seemed to clear his lungs right up. She said he didn't have to stay home from school, but if I felt he needed rest due to lack of sleep it was up to me. After he got over the croup we had a cold go around at our house. He didn't get it too badly, but the doctor put him on an inhaler (Flovent) for a week just as a preventative measure. When your son gets bad, you might want to try a hot shower, a vaporizer or humidifier, or my latest trick: rub Vicks onto the soles of the feet at bedtime and cover with a pair of cotton socks. It really cuts down on the coughing. We also used Jr. Tylenol and Triamenic Cough and Cold just to ease the pain of the coughing. Hope some of this helps you out. Good luck and hang in there.

V., a suggestion for night...elevate the head of his bed either by putting something under the legs of the bed or under the mattress. Get it up a good 6 inches. Is the doctor sure it is croup? Could it be whooping cough?

My daughter had that when she was in 3rd grade. She had this litle cough for over a week and then she had a small fever for about another week. I finally took her in and they put her in the hospital since her fever kept going up. It finally peaked in the hospital at 105.9. She was in the hospital two days and was released on a Friday. She was able to go to school on Monday, though she was very weak from the fever. For the cough I would check with your doctor to see if an inhaler would help. Please keep an eye on his temperature, I don't know what would have happened if my daughter had not been in the hosptial when the fever started going up. Good Luck.

Hi V.,
My understanding is that croup is more unusual as kids get older. Has he had croup in the past? It seems odd that he hasn't had a fever. As for school, I guess I would go by how he feels. Croup is viral. I'm not positive, but I think many viruses stop becoming contagious shortly after sypmtoms appear. Isn't that nice? We know nothing about it while it is contagious (the incubation period).

If it continues or occurs again, I would ask about allergies and asthma.

Good luck.
K.

When my two year old had croup the doctor told me that unless she is running a fever she would be fine to go to daycare. Also,it helped my daughter when we sat in a steamy bathroom (just let the hot water run)and I read books to her or if I took her out in the cold for just a little bit.

My 8 year old still gets croup. As you said, he also always appears symptom free during the day. After much experience with croup, I try to get him to stay home and rest during the day because we seem to have fewer terrible nights. Once you have a reasonable night with only minor coughing, I'd send him back to school.

My daughter also gets Croup very easily. My son never got it. It is scary - I didn't know what it was the first time, I thought she couldn't breath. Anyway - yeah, We continued with normal activities after one day off (mostly because we had brought her to the emergency room at 3am the night before because I didn't know what it was:-O)

Don't panic. My 6.5 year old son has had croup a dozen times in his life. The first time was when he was 8 months old and it was pretty scary, but two bad nights and it was over. Apparently once they get it, they're suseptible to it from then on. He doesn't usually run a temp with it and during the day his symptoms are practically non-existant. When he was 5 he got a really bad case that sent us to the doctor and he received breathing treatments/steriods for it. She said that he should have grown out of it by then, but he has gotten it twice since. There isn't much they can do. Good luck!

Hi V.-
I was a in education as a teacher and school principal for 15 years before quiting last year to remain home with my 4 children. I would encourage you to keep him home for several days with that cough. Certainly keep him home until he is 24 hours fever free. If the cough is bad (frequent and hard) it is exhausting for him and very distracting for the other learners in the classroom.
Good luck to you both. Croup stinks!
E.

My 11 year old son has been getting croup since he was 3. It is very rare for him now and he also has asthma, but when he was 3-5 he would get it almost once a month. He got it fairly regularly until he was about 8 and even had it once this school year. Your son does not need to stay home from school at all except based on how he feels. If he is tired from coughing all night or if he is having trouble with breathing or coughing during the day then you would want to keep him home, but he doesn't need to stay home because of the virus causing the croup. It is a particular cold virus (parainfluenza--sp?) that usually causes croup. In people who aren't prone to croup it would just cause a bad cold. It is a common virus in the fall and early spring. Are you doing the steam treatment at night when you run the shower with the bathroom door closed tightly so that the whole room gets like a steam room? He can sit in that until the steam dissapates. It can also help to prop them up in bed a little or take them outside in the cool air for awhile as long as it isn't really cold and they are dressed properly. We used to drive my son around with the heater off in the vehicle. That won't work if you have other children at home or you are too tired to drive. Did you doctor mention the possibility of a 3 or 5 day "burst" of prednisone? If your son is really struggling or having the stridor sympotoms he might need that extra help. Good luck--it is a horrible and scary sound and I know that the sleep deprivation that goes along with it is very frustrating. It is unusual for kids of this age to get croup, but it happens. I know. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any other questions.

my youngest daughter is 7 now she started getting croup at 2months old. up until now she has had croup about 47 times and it get worse and worse everytime she gets it. i dont mess around anymore the first sign of it i take her strait to the drs for a steroid shot. we have made an appointment with a ear, nose and throat dr to find out why she keeps getting it so bad and so many times in her short little life...it worries me that she gets it so often and gets worse most of the time she will get up and come get ,me cause she is having a hard time breathing, i'm scared of the day she cant cause she stoped breathing...

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