My grandson recently contracted croup. What is that, you may ask? It’s a viral (usually) respiratory infection thatÂ turns a young boy (or girl), into a seal. Well, not really but they sound like a seal.Â
Croup is often self-limiting, in that treatment may not be necessary. Unfortunately you usually don’t know when or how to make that decision as a parent and sometimes even as a physician. The cough is alarming enough to prompt a visit to the Emergency Room late at night and that’s what you should do.
As physicians, we have some advantages that the parent doesn’t, such as an oximeter that helps determine whether the child is actually getting oxygen into their lungs. We also have an x-ray machine that can tell us whether the child has swallowed a coin or other foreign body (see a similar story in my book for purchase).
With just a short ER visit and a simple treatment later and baby boy was back home soon and grandpa was able to resume sleep. Just a warning. Croup is contagious and is passed from one seal–I mean child, to another.