What's going around: Croup - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

What's going around: Croup

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MADISON (WKOW) -- This week, doctors are saying they're seeing more cases of croup.  

Doctors say croup is usually caused by viruses that make your upper airway narrow and is more common in young children who have smaller airways.  

Dr. Dana Johnson is a pediatrician at UnityPoint Health Meriter's McKee Clinic.  She explained more about croup.  Dr. Johnson said symptoms can include a barky cough and stridor.  Stridor is a high pitch noise made when inhaling, but can also happen when exhaling.  Johnson said with croup these symptoms will be worse in the middle of the night and get worse the second night. 

There are some at home treatment options for croup Dr. Johnson recommends.  You can have your child sit in a steam-filled bathroom or take them out into the night air.  Running the humidifier can also help.  If that's not helping, professional medical treatment may mean an oral or injected steroid to relax the airway or a breathing treatment.  

Dr. Johnson said it's time to go see your doctor if the cough is significantly barky or if you have stridor.  She said you may have to go to the emergency room or even call 911 if symptoms get worse, like difficulty breathing.  

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