Posted by: Samantha | 2012/08/22


Cough sounds like a seal barking

Dear Prof

My 20 month old son has a cough that sounds like a bark of a seal?

I''m not sure what i can use to releave his discomfort.

He wakes up quite a few times during the evening crying and coughing and i can hear that there is some slime as well.

Is this a couse for concern as this cough keep reoccuring?

About a month ago he had the same cough and my GP advised he had bronchiolitis and prescribed: Singular Sprinkles, Moxypen ,alcophyllex syrup and pain syrup?

Please could you advise what i should do.

Concerned mom.

Expert's Reply



Your son has a very common condition called 'spasmodic croup'. This type of croup occurs without any sign of infection being present. Episodes of croup can be quite frequent but most children outgrow the tendency to develop spamodic croup by the age of 5 years. The best treatment is to use a nebuliser with Pulmicort twice daily for a day or two when he develops the croup episodes. You will need a prescription for the Pulmicort so speak to your doctor. The medicines you mention here should not be used to treat spasmodic croup as they have no benefit.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2012/08/22

Its porobably best to go and see your paediatrician.

it is possible that it might be croup. I''m not a medical person though, I just know that a barking seal cough can be a sign of croup. I remember my baby sister had it.

To ease the coughing fits at night, if you don''t have a nebuliser and your GP didn''t prescribe anything for in it for the bronchiolitis, then sit in the bathroom with the door closed and your son on your lap and run the hot tap full blast from bath and basin and shower so that the bathroom gets really steamy as this can ease things until you can get medical help.

it may also help to have a humidifier in his room.

Its best you see a paediatrician or another GP for a second opinion though.

Reply to Purple

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