I don't know what it is about this particular ailment. But it seems to strike either right before or during Thanksgiving or Christmas.
In at least three of the last six holidays, croup has joined us for the celebration, including Future Farmboy's very first Christmas. I get the laryngitis and my son gets the barking cough and scary breathing patterns that inevitably send us to the hospital.
We are, however, getting the hang of this. During the last two bouts of croup, we've mastered the drill: 20 minutes in the bathroom with a steaming shower running; out into the cold air until his breathing is normal; then cuddled up to keep him (and me) calm.
The last time we headed to the hospital, I drove with him bundled up and the windows down. He was markedly improved by the time we checked into the ER, so we ended up leaving.
Last night, we avoided a hospital trip altogether...at least so far.
Some of the books I have say to call for help if the child's breathing is labored and lips are blue. I can say that I don't wait that long. If the wheezing is particularly bad, we're out the door.
As I was looking around for information about croup, I found the above image, an ad for Peckham's Croup Remedy. I wonder if it worked or if there are other treatments that you've used to send this uninvited guest packing.