Signs and Symptoms of Croup

Symptoms of croup are not always the same. As the disease moves from the nose to the lungs, the symptoms can change. The signs and symptoms of croup include:

  • Barking cough
  • Hoarse voice
  • Stridor (high-pitched sound when breathing)
  • Runny nose or stuffy nose
  • Low-grade fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Loss of voice (laryngitis)
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Noisy or labored breathing.

Symptoms of croup are often worse at night and usually last for 3 to 5 days. They may also seem to get better in the morning but get worse as the day goes on. Contact your child’s health care provider if symptoms are severe, worsen, last longer than 3 to 5 days or aren’t responding to home treatment.

Seek immediate medical attention if your child:

  • Makes noisy, high-pitched breathing sounds when breathing both in and out.
  • Makes high-pitched breathing sounds when not crying or upset.
  • Begins drooling or has problems swallowing.
  • Seems anxious, upset and restless or extra tired and has no energy.
  • Breathes at a faster rate than usual.
  • Struggles to breathe.
  • Develops a blue or gray tint around the nose, in or around the mouth, or on the fingernails.

Note that the symptoms of croup can be mistaken for other health problems. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis