Croup has been around for a long, long time. If your child has had croup before, you’re likely very aware of the scary-sounding cough that comes along with it.
A recent development has shown that the new omicron COVID-19 variant leads to croup among young children. So, if your child happens to test positive for COVID-19, it’s important to be on the lookout for symptoms of croup.
Our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland team provides more info about croup and its relation to COVID-19 below, so keep reading!
What Is Croup?
Croup is a respiratory infection that affects children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years of age. Croup typically lasts between three and five days, and it’s most common during the fall and winter months.
Croup causes swelling and inflammation of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea), which can result in noisy, difficult breathing and a loud, “barking” cough. While the effects of croup sound scary, it’s highly treatable. We’ve listed its common symptoms below.
Common Croup Symptoms
- A runny, stuffy nose
- A cough that turns into a “seal’s bark”
- A whistling sound when breathing, which is often referred to as “stridor”
Why Does the Omicron Variant Lead to Croup?
Experts state that because the omicron variant settles higher up in a child’s respiratory tract, it can lead to inflammation and swelling, which causes croup.
Even though the omicron variant has shown that it leads to croup, experts aren’t saying that it leads to particularly severe croup symptoms. Croup is easy to diagnose and typically easy to treat. If your child shows any of the signs that we’ve listed below, though, visit our AFC center for further treatment.
When to Take Your Child to the Doctor
- Makes noisy, high-pitched breathing sounds both when inhaling and exhaling
- Makes high-pitched breathing sounds when not crying or agitated
- Begins drooling or has difficulty swallowing
- Breathes at a faster rate than usual
- Struggles to breathe
- Develops blue or grayish skin around the nose, mouth or fingernails (cyanosis)
Do you have further questions or concerns about croup? If so, don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC teamtoday, and we can provide the answers you’re looking for!