If your child has a low pitched cough that sounds like the barking of a seal, they may have croup. Croup is caused by a virus that infects the voice box (so you get the odd sounding cough and may be hoarse), the windpipe and upper bronchi.
Sometimes, children will get enough inflammation in the windpipe, it makes it hard for them to breath. Usually, if this happens, the children will make a honking noise when they breath in (stridor). This can be pretty scary. If this happens, put your child in a steamy bathroom, or take them outside and let them breathe in cool night air. Usually, the stridor will resolve in 10-15 minutes. If it doesn’t, get your child to the emergency room right away. They can use special racemic epinephrine breathing treatments to open the airway.
If your child develops stridor or excessive cough or difficulty sleeping, please schedule an appointment to be seen in the office. They may need to be given a strong anti-inflammatory and / or a prescription cough medicine.