Keep your child quiet, if possible. Crying can make
breathing more difficult. Try rocking or distracting your child with a book or
humidifier to add moisture to the air. Don't use a hot
vaporizer. Use only water in the humidifier. Hold your child in your lap, and
let the cool vapor blow directly into your child's face.
is no improvement after several minutes, take your child into the bathroom and
turn on the shower to create steam. Close the door and stay in the room while
he or she breathes in the moist air for several minutes. Make sure your child
is not burned by the hot water or steam. Do not leave your child alone in the
If there is still no improvement, bundle your child up
and go outside in the cool night air.
If none of these techniques work after you have tried them
for about 30 minutes, call your doctor or seek medical attention
at an emergency facility.
If your child's symptoms improve with
these methods and he or she feels better, put your child back in bed with the
humidifier blowing nearby.
Sleep in your child's room for the rest of the
Offer your child plenty of fluids to drink. Try offering a
favorite drink several times each hour. You can try flavored ice treats, such
as Popsicles, or crushed ice drinks.
Do not smoke in the house or
car when you are traveling with your child.
Repeat the above
techniques if the barking cough returns.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.