Steamy Shower Not Helpful for Croup

Parents awakened in the night by the barking cough of croup have long helped their kids seek relief by having them breathe in the steam from a hot shower. But new research from The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto calls this tactic into question.

According to a recent report in The Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers exposed 140 children with croup to high, medium and low levels of humidity and found that humidity yielded no improvement. What did help? Holding and calming a child until he or she ceased crying, which allowed breathing to slow and symptoms to ease. This is the treatment the researchers recommend, but if your child is truly struggling to breathe, seek immediate medical help.

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