A child can get croup at any time of the year, although it's more likely to occur during late autumn or early winter.
This may be because there are more viruses, such as Cold and flu, around at this time of year.
Typical symptoms of croup include:
Stridor is often most noticeable when the child cries or coughs. But in more severe cases of croup it can also occur when the child is resting or sleeping.
Symptoms tend to be worse at night.
Some children have cold-like symptoms for a few days before developing croup symptoms.
These cold-like symptoms can include:
Although croup symptoms usually only last for a few days, they can occasionally last up to two weeks.
Croup can usually be diagnosed by a GP and mild cases can be treated at home.
However, seek immediate medical attention if your child has any of the following symptoms :
You should take them to your nearest hospital's accident and emergency (A&E) department or dial 999 for an ambulance.
Some of these symptoms may indicate a potentially life-threatening underlying condition called epiglottitis (inflammation and swelling of the epiglottis).
The symptoms could also indicate tracheitis (inflammation of the windpipe), which also requires immediate medical attention.
Croup is a childhood condition that affects the windpipe (trachea), the airways to the lungs (the bronchi) and the voice box (larynx).
Information about croup symptoms, including bark-like cough, difficulty breathing and rasping breath (stridor).
Information on the causes of croup, including flu viruses. The infection causes the larynx (voice box) to become swollen and the trachea (windpipe) to become blocked.
A GP can diagnose croup by studying your child's symptoms, particularly the sound of their cough. Croup typically causes a barking cough and rasping breathing (stridor).
The treatment of croup depends on how severe the symptoms are. Most cases do not need treating as the condition usually gets better on its own.
Complications that develop as a result of croup are rare.