Summer Allergies: Did Croup Cause Your Child's Deep, Barking Cough?

Posted on: 26 April 2017


If your child develops a deep barking cough during the summer, you may fear that they have a contagious condition called croup. Although most cases of croup develop in the coolest seasons of the year, some children may develop a croup-like cough in the spring and summer if they have allergies. During the warm seasons, allergies can become worse and affect the respiratory system. Here are possible reasons for your little one's croup-like cough and what you can do about it. 

Why Does Your Child's Cough Sound Like Croup?

Croup generally develops when a virus infects the upper airway passages, which causes swelling in the vocal cords. Croup produces a sound similar to the barking noises a seal makes. But some types of respiratory allergens can also create a cough similar to croup. The cough can become harsh and irritating on the tissues of the throat.

Coughing usually develops when the immune system tries to get rid of something in the upper airway passages. Some respiratory allergies can cause fluids to drip down the back of the throat. Other types of allergies develop when dust and pollen enter and irritate the nasal passages and throat tissues. Your child may cough in order to clear out these contaminants.

But over time, the cough can become deeper and harsher. Your little one's throat may become sore and hoarse from the croup-like cough. If bacteria does enter and infect the irritated tissues of your child's throat, their cough may turn into infectious croup. 

It's important to find out if your little one's cough is a symptom of allergies or if it's a sign of croup.

How Can You Make Your Child Feel Better?

Have your child checked out by ear, nose, and throat specialist, or ENT. An ENT can examine your child's upper respiratory system to see if they have an infection or reaction to allergies. If your child has croup, a doctor may instruct you to use a cold mist humidifier to improve your child's condition. The humidifier soothes your child's cough so that they sleep better at night.

A doctor may or may not prescribe or administer medications to your little one. Aspirin, allergy medications, cough syrups, and other types of drugs may produce dangerous side effects in children. 

If your child's cough is due to an allergic reaction, an ENT may perform allergy tests on them. The tests can reveal the cause and type of allergy your little one has, which allows an ENT to prescribe the best and safest treatment for it.

Be sure to contact an ENT like Mid America Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic PC about your child's barking cough to learn more.