Emergency or urgent care treatment of child suffering from croup depends largely on the child’s degree of respiratory distress. In mild cases, the child may only have minor symptoms and may only require parental reassurance and guidance, stable fluid status, proper oxygenation, and baseline minimal respiratory distress. Also, cool air humidifiers can help relieve your baby of the symptoms. This article will guide you on what you need to know about this condition and the best treatment for croup in infants.
- What is Croup in Infants?
- Symptoms of Croup in Infants
- Is Croup Contagious?
- What Causes Croup in Infants?
- How to Prevent Croup in Infants?
- Treatment for Croup in Infants
- Top 5 Best Humidifiers for Croup in Infants
What is Croup in Infants?
Croup is a common illness in children under five years of age. It’s a viral illness most of the time commonly caused by the virus called parainfluenza virus. That’s not the flu but rather the parainfluenza virus; it’s a different virus, and it causes swelling of the larynx or the voice box which can cause a child to have a characteristic very hoarse voice or a barking horse cough. If it gets bad enough, children can make a funny sound breathing which is called stridor.
Croup (and Croup Audio Sound Clips):
1. Croup audio sound clip (croup audio file).
2. A second Croup audio sound clip (croup audio file).
3. A third Croup audio sound clip (croup audio file).
4. Stridor audio sound clip (stridor audio file).
5. A second Stridor audio sound clip (stridor audio file).
Symptoms of Croup in Infants
Croup in infants typically starts as a cold. Your child might have a stuffy or runny nose as well as a fever. But it does not take long before your baby’s symptoms turn into something else. Here are the symptoms of croup in infants:
- Coughing that sounds like a bark
- Raspy or hoarse voice
- Labored, noisy breathing
- Eye redness
- Swollen lymph nodes
If these symptoms don’t improve or get worse after 3 to 5 days, call your doctor immediately. If your child:
- Has difficulty swallowing or start drooling
- Makes a high-pitched noisy breathing sound when he or she breathes
- Has no energy or is agitated or anxious
- Breathes quite faster than normal
- Turns blue or gray around the fingernails, mouth, or nose
- Seems to be hydrated, with a dry tongue or lips, or/and no urine output
Is Croup Contagious?
Croup is very contagious, so it can spread from one person to another. Typically, it is spread by airborne respiratory droplets from one infected child to another or to even an adult. Croup viruses can also be transferred to pregnant moms, however, these viruses don’t affect the fetus. The symptoms are usually more severe in pregnant women than those who are not pregnant. During the incubation period, croup may be contagious for about 7 to 10 days after the symptoms start to develop.
What Causes Croup in Infants?
Croup is mostly caused by a type of virus called parainfluenza virus. Other viruses that can cause croup in infants include:
- Respiratory syncytial virus
- Influenza A and B viruses
Bacteria can cause croup in infants in rare cases. Often, this type of croup is more severe than viral types.
How to Prevent Croup in Infants?
There is no way you can prevent croup in infants. There are however some things parents can do to limit the spread of this infection. They include the following:
- Avoid sharing unwashed cutlery, plates, cups, and other kitchen utensils
- Regularly clean surfaces to keep them germ-free
- Always sneeze and cough into a tissue, before immediately throwing it away
- Regularly wash your hands
Treatment for Croup in Infants
Croup can often be treated at home if it is mild. If the child has no stridor at rest when they are calm and playful, if they are not having any trouble breathing then usually they are fine to be treated at home with ibuprofen for fever and for the swelling of the larynx and also with cool or moist air humidifier. The first thing you can do is to take your child to the bathroom and close the door, then spend about 15 to 20 minutes in the bathroom with the hot steam. If that doesn’t improve their condition, another great treatment for croup in infants is to go for a walk outside in the cool air or use a cool air mist humidifier.
Just like if you had a swollen ankle you would sit down, well if you have a swollen voice box, the right thing to do is to sit down with cool air humidifier. If it’s a nice cool night outside, you can go for a walk outside or put your baby in their car seat, roll down the windows, and go for a drive. You can also rock your baby on the front porch in the nighttime when they have croup. These treatments for croup in infants will go a long way in helping them to relieve their symptoms.
Top 5 Best Humidifiers for Croup in Infants
The following humidifiers can help relieve your baby’s croup.
This modern and sleek humidifier is the ideal size for a larger bedroom or living space. The Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier can help keep the moisture in the room above 43%. This ensures a healthy environment for your child to relieve the croup symptoms. Despite its petite design, this ultrasonic humidifier has a high mist output of about 270ml/hour and the water tank has a capacity of 6 liters. The mist can be controlled with the touch of a dial. You can choose the intensity of the moisture and adjust it accordingly.
In average conditions, this tank can last for up to 6 days with no need to refill. When the water runs out in this humidifier, the automatic shut-off feature helps to prevent damage or hazard to the device because of overheating. This multi-functional model is small enough to fit on a nightstand and has a 360° rotating mist nozzle that allows you to adjust the moisture’s direction. This is a filter-free humidifier so it can run with tap water. The top of this unit has an essential oils tray that diffuses oil with the mist of moisture. This helps to create a pleasant aroma around your baby’s room. With its super sleek appearance and compact body, you don’t even notice it is there.
- Auto shut-off feature
- Quiet operation
- Allows essential oils
- LED nightlight
- Long runtime
- No filter, so it is hard to clean
The URPOWER MH501 Humidifier is an excellent choice if you are short of space. The matte black design makes it a perfect decoration in any place. It features 3 power settings that can provide up to 17 hours of working time. The extra-large 5-liter tank allows it to run far longer on a single refill. While your baby is asleep, the humidifier selects the middle mist output automatically and all indicator sounds and lights are turned off, so their sleep isn’t disturbed. This also ensures it won’t short-circuit or overheat. This humidifier also has an automatic shut-off function when the unit runs out of water. The URPOWER MH501 Humidifier uses an ultrasonic vibration technology that helps to release a cool mist their room.
The plastic filter disk helps to buffer noise and clean the air to ensure your baby sleeps healthier and better while also relieving them of croup symptoms. The one-touch operation of this unit makes it ultra foolproof and gives it a simple design. All you need to do is press a single button so it can start working, so you don’t have to worry about the operation. There is also a regulator that allows you to determine how much vapor you want to be released to your baby.
- Large water tank capacity
- Easy to operate
- Safety feature and sleep mode
- The reservoir and flask are made of polymer fiber so leakages are possible
This lightweight humidifier has a sizable water reservoir that can hold enough water to get your baby through the night. Regardless of the mist output settings you go for, this humidifier will never make a loud noise that will disturb your little one’s sleep. The fully rotating nozzle allows you to direct the mist toward your baby’s bed. The recessed handle on the top makes refilling this unit a breeze. You don’t need a bulky humidifier for an average-sized bedroom. The VicTsing Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is quite lightweight and requires little effort to pick up and move. With its portable size, it can sit on any nightstand perfectly.
Not only is it lightweight, but it is also quiet in operation. Since it is an ultrasonic humidifier, it uses high-frequency vibrations to create the mist. Also, it doesn’t have any loud fan that makes a bunch of rackets. This unit noise level is 21 decibels at the most which sound more like a faint whisper. This ensures a super quiet and ambiance sleeping environment for your child to help them relieve the croup symptoms. The BPA-free material ensures it is 100% safe for your babies. This humidifier will also automatically shut off when it is short of water. The locked cover helps to prevent this unit from rolling over during operation. The see-through design allows you to know when it is time to refill the tank.
- Uniform and efficient misting
- Super quiet operation
- Automatic shut-off protection
- Easy to refill
- Dial knob mist control
- Some reviewers complained of leaking
The Levoit LV455CH Cool Mist Humidifier boasts a water reservoir with a capacity of 4.5 liters. This means this unit can humidify your baby’s room continuously for up to 40 hours before you will need to refill it. This makes it great for relieving symptoms of croup in infants. Its design is both functional and stylish. The one-touch button allows you to switch easily between the three mist settings and turn on the night light. The powerful mist nozzle can rotate 360° so you can direct it to your preferred direction. Once the water level is down, the LED indicator turns red to alert you it needs refilling.
The opening of the water reservoir measures just 3 inches in diameter, allowing you to easily refill the humidifier with a pitcher, hose, nozzle, or faucet. As a safety precaution, this unit shuts off automatically once the reservoir is completely empty, so you don’t have to worry about wasting energy. The Levoit LV455CH Cool Mist Humidifier was designed to be filterless so its performance is not weakened by the quality of water you used to fill the reservoir. With its sleek and stylish design, this humidifier will seamlessly fit into any room. Its compact and lightweight design allows it to sit comfortably on a desk, a nightstand, on the floor, or any other flat surface. The ultrasonic whisper-quiet technology allows it to operate at a maximum volume of 40 decibels, so your child will hardly even know if it is there.
- Compact and lightweight
- Whisper-quiet operation
- Sleek and stylish design
- Easy to use
- Lacks air quality gauge
The GENIANI Cool Mist Humidifier features three levels of cool mist and comes with an aroma box. This will go a long way in helping to relieve the symptoms of croup in your little one. Rather than a system where water boils in a chamber to produce steam, this humidifier uses a sonic system to humidify the house. It also has an oil diffuser, an air purifier, and a night light included. This bullet-shaped humidifier stands less than 1 foot and it is a one-half foot wide. Its lightweight design allows it to perfectly fit any nightstand, and it efficiently works in both small- and medium-sized rooms. The water tank is easy to fill, all you have to do is lift the tank’s base and pour in the distilled water. Once the tank runs out of the water, the LED indicator light turns red before turning off to prevent overheating.
This Humidifier is equipped with a turn dial that allows you to choose your desired mist output. At its lowest output, you will get up 48 hours of mist from the hand-turn 360° nozzle. This unit is ultra-quiet and won’t disturb your baby since it does not make any disturbing noises or beeps. This humidifier also allows you to add a few drops of essential oil. This can help to relieve sinus pressure or clear your child’s stuffy nose.
- Compact and sleek appearance
- Easy to break apart and wash
- Perfectly quiet operation
- It might not last in a demanding environment
Investing in any of these cool air mist humidifiers on our list will help relieve your baby of the symptoms. However, it is important to seek medical attention if your baby is still having trouble breathing despite methods of home therapy. If you have tried cool air treatment and/or humidified air for treatment for croup in infant and your baby is still having trouble breathing or persistent high fever, then you should seek medical care.
And as always follow your mom sense or your dad sense if you are not comfortable with your baby or your child’s health; don’t ever hesitate to take them to the hospital regardless of anyone’s advice.
Last updated : 09/2019