Croup cough is a common respiratory illness that usually affects children ages five and younger, especially during the winter months. Croup causes include the human parainfluenza virus or HPIV. Other croup causes and risk factors include asthma, premature birth and allergies. (1) The infection affects the vocal cords, windpipe and broncial tubes. Croup symptoms include a hoarse voice and a barking cough. Conventional treatments for croup cough typically involve over-the-counter cough and cold medications, but croup treatment can also be natural. (2) There are plenty of natural remedies you can use for croup treatment at home.

Croup Symptoms

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Cough that sounds like a seal’s bark
  • Fever Laryngitis
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • A bluish color of the skin at the lips and fingernails

Croup Treatment

1. Steam

Breathing in steam can help alleviate upper respiratory issues and promote better breathing. For croup treatment at home, shut the door to the bathroom and turn the hot water on in your shower. Sit or stand outside of the shower while it runs and breathe in the steam for 10 minutes to help reduce croup symptoms. (3)

2. Hydration

Croup causes you to become dehydrated, like many other illnesses. Staying hydrated is an important part of croup treatment. Make sure babies stay hydrates with breastmilk while older children stay hydrated with plenty of water, soup and coconut water.

3. Cold Air

Cold air can help clear up congestion and promote better breathing. For croup treatment at home, spend time outdoors for 10-20 minutes or take a slow car ride with the windows down. The cold, refreshing air can work wonders for croup symptoms. (4)

4. Rest

Resting is an important part of croup treatment, but it’s best to rest in a propped position to help make breathing easier. Prop your child up in bed with extra pillows to help reduce coughing. For babies and infants, put a few books under the crib mattress to create a slight incline. (5)

5. A Calm Atmosphere

If you child has croup, you can help them feel calm and safe by keeping them distracted with books and games. Stress can make breathing more difficult and induce coughing fits. Croup treatment involves creating a calm atmosphere for your child to promote healing.

6. Essential Oils

Essential oils are a natural form of croup treatment that can help open up the airways and reduce coughing. Make sure your child is old enough for essential oils, and perform a skin patch test to make sure they aren’t allergic. Mix coconut oil with tea tree oil, thyme oil and lavender oil. Use the homemade vapor rub on your child’s chest to provide relief from coughing. (6)