Croup is a respiratory illness or disease of the infants and children that involves Laryngotracheobronchitis, which means inflammation of the larynx (voice box), the trachea (windpipe), and the bronchi (airways to the lungs).
Croup usually develops as the result of a viral infection (usually caused by Parainfluenza viruses). The infection causes inflammation and narrowing of the respiratory tract. The characteristic symptoms of Croup include a barking cough, stridor (a harsh sound) during inspiration (breathing-in of air) that frightens the parents, difficult breathing, and hoarse voice. The narrowing of the respiratory tract leads to the symptoms of Croup including stridor, which is a symptom of labored breathing. Labored breathing implies difficulty in breathing (Dyspnea or Dyspnoea) as shown by the signs of putting increased effort during breathing such as use of accessory respiratory muscles, stridor, nasal flaring (widening of nostrils while breathing), or grunting (a deep guttural sound).
Treatment of Croup depends on the severity of symptoms. Usually, Croup can be managed by consulting a physician. In case of severe Croup, it is necessary to admit to a hospital urgently.