Toddler Fights for His Life after His ‘Simple Cough’ Turned into Life-threatening ‘Croup’


Have you heard of ‘Croup’? If not, this is a must-read for parents and parents-to-be.

3-year-old Reuben Humphreys was admitted to intensive care at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary after his cough took a deadly turn.

Reuben’s Dad told the Newcastle Chronicle: ‘Within 24 hours he went from a happy little boy running around on holiday to being in intensive care.

‘I’m a dad and I had never even heard of croup.’

Kids with croup have a virus that makes their airways swell. They have a telltale “barking” cough (often compared to the sound of a seal’s bark) and a raspy voice, and make a high-pitched, squeaky noise when they breathe.

Reuben’s parents brought the youngster to a walk-in centre when his cough croup worsened before he was rushed to hospital. Just days before, Reuben had been enjoying a family holiday to the Lake District with his parents.

Luckily, the three-year-old is beginning to show signs of improvement.

Call your doctor or get immediate medical care if your child:

  • has trouble breathing, including very fast or labored breathing
  • is too out of breath to talk or walk
  • has pulling in of the neck and chest muscles when breathing
  • has stridor that is getting worse
  • is pale or bluish around the mouth
  • is drooling or has trouble swallowing
  • is very tired or sleepy or hard to awaken
  • is dehydrated (signs include a dry or sticky mouth, few or no tears when crying, sunken eyes, thirst, peeing less)

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