Laryngotracheitis - Diagnosing croup
NHS Choices Medical Reference
Your GP will diagnose croup based on your child's symptoms and, in particular, the sound of their cough. The doctor may also take your child's temperature to check for a fever and will ask you whether your child has recently had a cold or a viral infection.
Based on their assessment, your GP will decide whether hospital admission is required or whether your child's croup is safe to treat at home or at the GP surgery.
Ruling out other conditions
Your GP will want to rule out any other conditions that may cause similar symptoms to croup, such as epiglottitis (inflammation of the epiglottis) and tracheitis (inflammation of the windpipe).
Other possible causes for your child's symptoms are:
- an abnormality of the airway, which has been present from birth
- an abscess in the tissues in the back of the throat
- inhaled material
- swelling of the deeper layers of the skin (angio-oedema)
If your child is admitted to hospital with severe croup, or if treatment proves to be unsuccessful, further investigations may be needed to examine their neck and chest area for a possible obstruction.
An X-ray may be recommended if it is thought that inhaled material is obstructing your child's airway.
You should not try to check your child's throat yourself, because it could trigger a spasm (sudden narrowing) of the airway. This could cause the airway to swell even more, making breathing even more difficult.
- A high temperature, also known as a fever, is when someone's body temperature goes above the normal 37°C (98.6°F).