The great majority of children with croup can be diagnosed from the history
of the present illness and a physical examination. Studies are not routinely
- A pulse oximeter may be used to determine if the child is getting an
adequate amount of oxygen. This is a skin sensor, placed on the finger, toe, or
ear, connected to an oximeter machine by a wire. Normal levels would be above
95% on room air.
- X-rays of the neck may be ordered to differentiate croup from
epiglottitis, which is a more serious condition. Children with croup typically
have visible upper airway narrowing, called a steeple sign that can be seen on
- Blood tests are usually not necessary.
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