Acute stridor in children is most often secondary to an infectious etiology, with croup being the most common cause. It is estimated that croup is the cause of 15% of respiratory tract infections in children.17 Croup primarily affects children aged 6 months to 3 years, with a peak annual incidence of 5% at 2 years of age. Boys are approximately 1.5 times more likely to be affected by croup than girls. Most cases of croup are viral, with parainfluenza 1 and 3 being the most common agents; however, a variety of viruses have been identified, including influenza A.5 Of those children presenting to the ED with croup, approximately 8% will be admitted to the hospital and < 1% will be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).18
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