Paediatric Otolaryngologist Thomas Havas

Is your child having harsh barking cough?

He/she may have croup. We would like to help you understand more about "Courp in Children". Although most children do not require any specific treatment for croup, if you want to make sure what is happening to your child, please bring your child to see the best ENT specialist.

Professor Thomas Havas is one of the few specialists in Australia who has post-fellowship training in Paediatrics. After you get a referral letter from local doctor, you can book an appointment with him by giving us a call or using the "Book an Appointment" form.

Croup is a viral infection that causes swelling at the top of the windpipe just below the voice box (subglottis). This is the narrowest part of the airway, made even narrower by the swelling, so it makes breathing difficult.

Croup in Children

Croup often begins after a viral upper respiratory tract infection and is heralded by a harsh barking cough. The condition is nearly always worse at night when the air is cooler; it is most common in children under the age of five, some of whom are prone to getting recurrent croup. Croup and the airway narrowing associated with it can get worse quite quickly, so if you have any concerns you should take your child to an appropriate pediatric hospital emergency room.

Remember this condition often begins like a normal cold, a normal cough then becomes harsher with a barking quality, your child’s voice may become hoarse, you may notice a squeaky noise when your child is breathing in (inspiratory stridor). The symptoms are worse at night and often last 3-4 days.

Most children do not require any specific treatment.

If you are concerned about your child’s airway, take it to the emergency room of an appropriate pediatric hospital; treatment there may involve giving steroids either by mouth or by nebulizer. The steroids help reduce swelling which makes breathing easier.

Remember that antibiotics do not work on viruses and have no place in the treatment of croup.

If you have questions regarding croup, please feel free to contact Havas ENT Clinics.