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Croup is a condition that causes an inflammation of the upper airways — the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea). It often leads to a barking cough or hoarseness, especially when a child cries. Most cases of croup are caused by viruses... Viral croup is most common — and symptoms are most severe — in children 6 months to 3 years old... Most cases of viral croup are mild and can be treated at home. Rarely, croup can be severe and even life threatening. The term spasmodic croup refers to a type of croup that develops quickly and may happen in a child with a mild cold. The barking cough usually begins at night and is not accompanied by fever.... Treatment of symptoms is the same for either form of croup. (Source)