Family Life

How To Spot Signs Of Croup (Not Just The Barking Cough)

how to spot signs of croup

I couldn’t believe how quickly Croup took a hold of my little man the other day and wanted to share my experience, How to spot signs of croup (not just the barking cough) in the hope that if anyone is looking after their own son/daughter, baby or toddler this may help in managing it at home or call 999 and seek medical advice. I can’t stress enough how quickly Croup can take a hold, act fast if you have any doubts just go with your gut feeling!

how to spot signs of croup

This was little man early Sunday afternoon enjoying his 1st mini steam train ride all smiles all the way round the track,when soon after we had stopped he just went really quiet and was struggling to breathe! At first I just thought he’d got too excited, but quickly realised something wasn’t right! I picked him up and felt his head, which was really hot, and noticed his little heart was beating fast and he was really struggling to breathe. I quickly put him in the car brought him home and gave him some calpol and just held him. James didn’t want anything to eat or drink he just wanted his bed, so I stripped him off and just left him in his nappy, James seemed settled and had cooled down so I left the room to let him sleep it off,whatever this was? after 10 minutes I just nipped back in to check that James temperature was still going down when he was burning up and making a funny noise when breathing, but it wasn’t a bark more like a rattle! I just knew I had to do something so I took James straight to urgent care to get checked out and they couldn’t do enough to help. Their main concern was to get his temperature down, as by the time we arrived it had gone up to 39.9 degrees, they gave James ibuprofen then we went straight into see the doctors who immediately gave him dexamethasone and explained this would reduce the swelling in his throat as they could hear a stridor when James breathed in, then asked me some questions then said James had croup! I couldn’t believe it as James has had croup when he was younger and I thought they only got it once, I now know babies and toddlers get croup numerous times! I wish someone had told me this as we ended up in hospital when James was last diagnosed. They did tell me that as James had been diagnosed earlier in the year with croup that I should have just rung 999 and not gone to my local urgent care, but I just didn’t know or thought it was so bad,  I won’t make that mistake again!

dealing with croup in toddlers

James wasn’t showing any signs of getting better so the doctors quickly gave him an adrenaline nebuliser which James quickly realised it helped him to breathe more easily and after he had been given two more we went straight in the ambulance to the main hospital to the resuscitation unit to monitor James further. This was his 3rd nebuliser and James wanted to hold it himself, bless him!  I could tell he was feeling better but then the bark like cough came with a vengeance! Another lot of dexamethasone and it seem to work now it was just a waiting game. We were admitted and James was kept a close eye on by all the doctors, who were absolutely brilliant and explained everything they were doing the whole time we were there. We spent two days in the hospital which was loads better than last time when we were in for 5 nights. we were then discharged with access to come straight back if James needed to, he is still a poorly boy and croup can last for up to two weeks, fingers crossed James is over the worst and we just need the virus to run it’s course.

How To Spot Signs Of Croup

  •  A hoarse or croaky voice
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • A harsh grating sound when breathing in
  • High temperature
  • Rapid heartrate
  • Won’t drink fluids
  • A bark like cough

I’m not a medical expert by no means and I don’t want anyone to think that I know all the symptoms of croup I just would like you to know that my son didn’t start with the classic bark it was more like he was coming down with a cold, but when his breathing and temperature got worst I knew I needed medical help and fast! For more information on croup here’s a link to the nhs website

I hope this can be of some help in any small way. I also want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the doctors and nurses at Burnley urgent care unit,the ambulance drivers and all the doctors and nurses at Royal Blackburn Hospital whom were all amazing! be happy and healthy!


Mandy x



Mandy J McDonald

Author: Mandy J McDonald

A UK Family Lifestyle & Days Out Blogger – Sharing our mini family adventures & my love for all home and garden inspirations with lots of tips & tricks!!!

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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    Sarah Christie
    July 26, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Aw bless him, when Joe used to suffer i used to put the shower on hot and let the bathroom get really steamy then sit in there with him. It really helps. Hope he is over it soon xx

    1. Mandy J McDonald
      Mandy J McDonald
      July 27, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      Thanks for that Sarah and yes we were told to do that last time and we did try but I think little man was just to far gone, he’s picking up more everyday so we’re over the worst thank goodness :)xxxxx

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