Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Racoon | 2011/07/25


Croup or tracheitis - urgent

Dear Prof

How do I distinguish between croup and tracheitis? my 10 month old son has seal-bark-like cough, and sometimes ''whoops'' on inspiration as well. It started last night, but he has no fever and just a runny nose, and slightly watery eyes with maybe a bit of discharge. He didn''t sleep well, and this morning at 05h00 we spent some time in a steamed-up bathroom. This morning he is still coughing like that, but is fine otherwise. Does this warrant a visit to the doc, or do we sit it out?? many thanks!

Expert's Reply



This does sound like a croup infection which is caused by a virus infection of the larnxx. The virus causes inflammation of the vocal chords. Croup usuallay lasts for a day or two. It certainly helps to let him spend some time in a steamed up room. If he becomes pale or if he has a blueish tinge to his skin or if his breathing becomes more noisy or if he appears to be uncomfortable and seems to be working hard to breathe he must immediately be taken to a doctor.

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