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What is Croup Cough?

Mikaela Millan


October 16, 2021
CoughPro is not a medical product. It is a wellness app intended only for users to obtain a better understanding of their cough. It is not intended to diagnose, monitor, or treat any illness.

We at Hyfe, Inc., are a company devoted to working on tools to better understand the importance of cough. It is Hyfe’s intention in the future to seek regulatory approval for medical products that analyze cough in order that they may be used to diagnose, monitor, and facilitate better treatment of respiratory illnesses.

A little girl standing outside and coughing

In these times of pandemic, a cough can be a worrisome thing. Not only is it a prominent sign of COVID-19, but it can also be part of a constellation of symptoms heralding more serious lung diseases. Moreover, when children develop a cough, it can be particularly troubling given their increased susceptibility to disease and the immaturity of their immune systems. Let's explore the subject of croup cough.

What is Croup?

Croup is an infection of the upper airways that occurs most frequently in children, often less than five years old. It is characterized by a barking, seal-like cough, along with hoarseness, difficulty breathing, and signs of the common cold (runny nose, sore throat, etc.). In the United States, it causes 7% of hospitalizations in children below five years old, usually between six months and three years of age. Given these statistics, it is easy to see why croup would be a cause for concern for most parents. 

What Causes Croup and its Cough?

The swelling of the upper airways causes obstruction, leading to the characteristic cough sound associated with croup. Because of this, a child may have both audible and difficult breathing.

Croup is commonly caused by viruses, the most common of which is the parainfluenza virus. Other viruses include influenza A and B, measles, adenovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). To a lesser extent, bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis also cause croup. 

What is the Treatment for Croup?

Croup is a self-limiting condition, which means it will resolve on its own. However, in severe cases, your doctor may prescribe a combination of steroids, epinephrine, oxygen, and intubation to help ease symptoms.  

A mom giving her daughter tea
Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

Here are some tips on how to look after your child with croup at home:

  • Stay calm
  • Sit your child upright
  • Comfort them if they are distressed, as crying can worsen the symptoms
  • Give them plenty of fluids
  • Do not let your child inhale steam
  • Do not give them cough or cold medicines
  • Consult your doctor

How Can I Tell Croup Cough from COVID-19 Cough?

While croup and COVID-19 share similar symptoms like cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing, here are some things to consider in differentiating them

  • Time of year – croup occurs in the fall or winter months while COVID-19 exists all year round
  • Other symptoms – COVID-19 may involve more symptoms than croup, such as headache, digestive problems, and loss of taste and smell
  • COVID-19 exposure – Contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case may make it likely that your child may have contracted the virus

In this case, the only way to get confirmation is by consulting your doctor and getting your child tested. 


Croup can be a difficult illness for children to deal with. To prevent it, ensure a clean environment at home, wash toys and frequently used items, and avoid leaving the home if only for essentials. In this way, we can also lessen the spread of COVID-19. 

Your Cough Matters

Based on our results in Google Play & App Store
  • Excellent, insightful
    By dust mite dan - Apr 7, 2023 - App Store
    This app is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing and has provided me with useful information about my cough and disease patterns that have improved my overall health!

    Try CoughPro for Free
  • Great app!
    by Imtfx0019 — Dec 6, 2022 - App Store
    Impressed with how well it detected my coughs, even very slight ones.
    Try CoughPro for Free
  • App is Great!
    by HBert Quach — Jan 22, 2023, - Google Play
    App is great at tracking cough when little ones are sick. I treat it as a early warning indicator before the cold gets back. Customer service is awesome, they actually respond to all my questions.
    Try CoughPro for Free
  • Great Experience
    by Christi Hammock — Mar 7, 2023, - Google Play

    I had an issue logging into the new app but I contacted the support team and they were awesome in helping me figure out the issue. It turned out to be a technical issue which they resolved very quickly and I was kept in the loop on the status from start to finish. This app is really helpful when talking to my doctor too..
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  • Impressive app
    By KayakTina - Apr 7, 2023 - App Store
    "The app accurately is recording my coughs with excellent ways to review the results. I can add notes to help me identify patterns or have accurate information for my physicians. I’ve hoped for an app like this for years to help me accurately track the amount of coughing I’m doing"
    Try CoughPro for Free
  • Accurate count of coughs
    by Beardonna — Mar 8, 2023 - App Store

    Just installed the app. Very accurate measuring coughs so far! Cannot wait to see how much coughing I do while sleeping. I'll have a better picture to discuss with my physician at my next visit.

    Try CoughPro for Free

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