Since croup is a respiratory infection, its most obvious symptoms involve the throat and breathing. Common symptoms of croup include:
- Barky sounding, harsh cough
- Hoarse voice
- Stridor (a harsh sound from the windpipe while breathing in)
These symptoms are caused by swelling in the throat and windpipe (trachea). Symptoms are worse in the evening and at night. Croup may last from several hours, to days, to a week or more.
If croup begins to worsen, these symptoms can intensify and new symptoms can arise. Symptoms of worsening croup may include:
- Increased stridor
- Skin pulling in below the neck or between the ribs while breathing in (retractions)
- Trouble talking
- Blueness around the lips or nail beds (cyanosis)
- High fever
- Having trouble breathing in general
If your child has any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical care right away.