Emergency advice

If a baby or child has croup:

  1. Sit them on your knee.
  2. Reassure them.
  3. Call 999 if croup is severe and they have a high temperature, as it could be epiglottitis.

What is croup?

Croup is a childhood condition, where there is inflammation of the windpipe and the voice box.

Signs and symptoms

Look for:

  • distressed breathing
  • a short, barking cough
  • rasping noise when breathing in
  • a croaky voice
  • blue-grey tinge to the skin (due to lack of oxygen)

What to do

  1. Baby croup first aid - sit the child on your knee and support their back

    Sit the child on your knee, supporting their back, and calmly reassure them.

  2. First aid - call 999 or 112 for emergency help

    If their breathing is distressed, the child has a high temperature, looks grey / blue, call 999 or 112 for emergency medical help. If you are unsure, call 111 for further advice.

    • Monitor their breathing and level of response until help arrives.

Related first aid advice

How to do a baby primary survey

The primary survey is a quick way to find out how to treat any life threating conditions a baby may have using DRABC. Learn what to do.

How to do CPR on a baby (under one year old)

If a baby is not responding to you and not breathing normally, you will need to call 999 or 112 for emergency help and start CPR straight away. Learn what to do.

Choking baby

As you start weaning your baby and they begin eating solid foods or playing with small objects, they may be at risk of choking. Find out what to look for and what to do.

St John Ambulance volunteers providing support