What is croup?

Also known as: viral croup, spasmodic croup.

Croup refers to a contagious infection of the upper breathing passages (the voice box- larynx, and windpipe-trachea) that irritates, inflames, swells and obstructs the upper airways of babies and young children, between the ages of 3 months and 5 years, (peak 24 months- especially in boys, and predominantly in the fall and early winter).  It results in breathing difficulties and a characteristic cough that ends with a high-pitched whistling type noise (stridor) when the child breathes in.

Reviewed by: Sunil U Bochare, M.D.

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

© 2020 Nicklaus Children's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.