When to Go to Urgent Care for the Croup
Croup refers to a common infection that usually affects young children and it can be scary especially if it lands your child in an emergency room for urgent care or the doctor’s office. However, in some cases, croup can be treated at home. You should always look out for the signs and symptoms of croup. Read on for more information on croup and when you should seek medical attention for your child.
Urgent care for croup
Croup causes a swelling of the windpipe and voice box. The swelling causes the airway below a child’s vocal cords to become narrow and makes breathing harder and noisy. Children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years are more likely to get croup. As children get older, the condition is not common because the windpipe is larger and swelling often does not get in the way of breathing.
Symptoms of croup
Croup usually starts as a typical cold. If there is enough inflammation and coughing, a kid will develop a loud barking cough, a hoarse voice, fever and breathing that may be labored or noisy. Symptoms are usually worse at night or when a child is crying or upset. Symptoms often last for 3 to 5 days.
When to seek medical attention
A parent should take a child to an emergency room for urgent care if the symptoms are severe, last beyond 3 to 5 days or worsen. Seeking immediate medical attention is recommended if a child struggles to breathe, breathes at a quicker rate than usual, makes high-pitched, noisy breathing sounds both when exhaling and inhaling or has difficulty swallowing. A parent should also get medical care if the child seems agitated and anxious, listless and fatigued or develops grayish or blue skin around the mouth, nose or fingernails. Seeking help early is very important.
Diagnosis and treatment
At an emergency room for urgent care services, the health care providers can provide a thorough medical examination to diagnose the condition and offer the right treatment options. In some cases, X-rays and other tests can be used to ensure a different type of infection or medical problem is not causing the symptoms. Many kids with croup can be treated at home. However, a health care provider can offer particular recommendations, make sure the symptoms are not severe and provide a prescription if needed.
The doctors may recommend and prescribe a type of steroid that can help reduce inflammation in the airway. Most times, the benefits are felt in a few hours. If treatment from another health care provider is needed, the team will provide a referral. They will also help schedule an appointment and forward the test results, X-rays and any other digital medical records.
You should visit an emergency room for urgent care if your child’s croup is not improving or if symptoms are severe or last for more than 3 to 5 days. This will ensure that the condition can be diagnosed and treatment can start as soon as possible. Urgent care is recommended for high-quality care. If you have any other questions about croup or visiting a walk-in clinic, contact an emergency room near you.
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