Croup Every Time He's Sick!

Updated on March 20, 2013
S.C. asks from Brooklyn, MD
10 answers

My son was 2 in september and every time he gets the slightest cold he'll wind up with a severe case of croup. It's been going on since he was about 7 months old - in total its happened probably a dozen times. He's been to the ER twice with it getting so bad that he was wheezing. Now a bit of background info - My husband & father are respiratory therapists, mother is an RN, and the rest of my family is also in the medical field -- None of them have ever seen/dealt with/heard of a kid getting it this many times. Has anyone ever had this problem? I absolutely hate having to pump my son full of steroids to make the swelling subside, but its the only thing that will make it go away. So many long nights in a steamy bathroom! Help!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

hi S.

my son also seems to get croup with every cold. though his hasn't been as severe as it sounds that your son's has been. actually his colds tend to begin with him waking with the barking cough. that's the worst night for us. the next day the cold kicks in and the croup mostly fades. he's never gone into emergency and only 1 time got steriods because we were leaving in the afternoon to fly to texas so they wanted to be on safe side in case it was a bit more severe. it does make for a frustrating night all around. Our ped doesn't seem to think there's really anything we can do. she said in some kids viruses just tend to settle in their voice box. for other kids they settle in the ears or other places.



answers from Harrisburg on

Like Heather, my kids get it with every cold, but never as bad as your son. We were given steroids once I think because it had been going on for so long. None of my girlfriends' kids get croup as often as mine do. My ped to me that some kids are born with smaller airways, so when it gets swollen, they get croup easily. Croup is so hard to listen to, but it sounds worse than it is. Although with your son's wheezing, maybe there is something more going on. Wish I could help. Good luck!



answers from Lake Charles on

My son has been in the hospital 4 times with the croup, the first time was really severe, he couldn't breathe at all, his chest caved it, I'm pretty sure the doctor freaked out. It was terrible. He's 16 months. As I type this I'm listening to the baby moniter as he is wheezing again! He has had guaifenesin (cough medicine/congestion, given once daily), had a breathing treatment before bed, and zyrtec, he also has a humidifier in his room. This happens all of the time. My husband and I both work full time and I get so upset because I can't stay home with my baby some days when I feel like I need to.... it's hard.
So any way... the only diagnosis I have recieved is reactive airway disease, which from what I gather is a way of saying... this could be something diagnosable, but as of now.. this is what we're going with. I wish we had more of an answer. When we go to the hospital and he has the croupy cough I always ask what can we do to prevent this.. and they have told me that there is nothing we can do other than what we are already doing to prevent it, it just happens I suppose.
With my son though the majority of the times it happens is when there is a change in the weather (which in southeast Louisiana, this happens every day) and it worsens when we go outside. I put him in the truck with windows down a little or take him outside to play (because he loves being outside more than anything and gets frustrated if we can't go out) and he coughs continuously.
My son's doctor gives him an antiobiotic shot and steriods every time he is sick as well as the normal breathing treatments 3 times a day (this is a mixture of albuterol and ipatropium, sometimes xopenex). He asks us to come back every two days until it clears up. I'm not sure what to do but I hope he grows out of it! Otherwise I hope we can get a diagnosis =/
I know this isn't helpful, but it's my experience. I haven't yet been able to really find an answer through my searching, but I'm hoping I can find out something soon.



answers from Johnstown on

My son is 6 and has the same problem every time he gets sick and i actually talk to my doctor and they started treating him for asthma and we have not had a problem in months. besides that i think we do everything else that was suggested to you already



answers from Rochester on

Well I'm reading this because my 4 yr old has the same problem and no body knows why, I'm up with her right now because of it, and yes I'm going to call the oncall for more steroids because its the only thing I can do. Soooo as to why I'm sorry I can't answer that but I can let u know ur not alone!



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son is 5 and he still gets the croup every time he's sick. His doctor is great, and instead of medicine, we stay calm, breathe together when he has an attack, and yes, sit in a steamy bathroom or go outside into the cool air. It hasn't gotten any better the older he's gotten, but we've learned to work through it. It's scary. My co-workers son is 11 and he still gets it every time he's sick.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son was/is in a similar (although less severe) situation. After a lot of workign with the doctors, it looks like he has cough-variant asthma (I see others also have children with asthma who react this way). Cough-variant asthma is when children have a difficult time getting the air OUT of their lungs, rather than INTO their lungs (which is typical of regular asthma). We have had good luck with Ibuteral through an inhaler. He only needs it when he's had a cold... I hope this helps. My son is 9 now, and it has taken until just recently to realize that this is what is going on.



answers from Philadelphia on

Yep my son had this same thing all the way up to age 8! They said Croupe usually ends at 5 but can go on much longer, Every time he got sick he got it, every time the weather changed he got it. They ruled out asthma and he was very healthy otherwise. He is now 9 and has not had it this whole past year, keeping my fingers crossed. Initially he was always prescribed Prednisone and then eventually his body became used to it, he bounced off the walls, and after 4 days of taking it didn't help. Eventually we ended up being in the ER every time where they would give him a shot in his butt it was also a steroid and it was something along the lines called Decadrine or Decadrone not sure how to pronounce or spell the name of it. Hang in there we did all the things we were told too, the hot shower room, the outside cold, the humidifiers (that seemed to make it worse though). Alot of times some doctors nurses hear your calls and think your over-reacting and don't take it as serious, don't let them make you feel that way, FIGHT for your child's health, only you know them best!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I know exactly what you're going thruough. My son, now 4, got croup every single time he was sick. It's been dozens of times from the time he was 2 1/2 weeks up till 3 1/2 years. We had him into the ER about 3-4 times with it, but he also has asthma. My sisters have 9 kids between the two of them and mine is the only one who has had croup as many times. His ped. assured me it was sometimes normal for that to happen in some children. My son has seemed to outgrow it now. He turned 4 in July and I think our last bought of croup was in November of '05 and he's been sick here and there since that Nov. It'll get better. Good luck and hang in there.



answers from New York on

My son has the same thing. He is now 19 months old and had the croup cough 4 times. His Doctor says it is not the croup. Sometimes their air passage is very narrow which will cause his cough to sound like the croup and he will outgrow it. According to his Doctor it's just a cold.