5 Croup Nursing Care Plans


Croup refers to a variety of conditions characterized by a harsh “barking” (croupy) cough, inspiratory stridor, hoarseness, and marked respiratory retraction. The condition usually affects infants and small children between 3 months and 3 years of age and occurs during the cold weather.

The most common form of croup is laryngotracheobronchitis (LTB). It is caused by an acute viral infection of the larynx, trachea, and bronchi resulting in the obstruction below the level of the vocal cords. Spasmodic croup is croup of sudden onset, developing at night and characterized by laryngeal obstruction at the level of the vocal cords caused by viral infections or allergens. Both occur as a result of upper respiratory infection, edema, and spasms that cause respiratory problems in varying degrees depending on the severity of obstruction.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning goals for a child with croup include maintaining airway clearance, demonstrating increased air exchange, relieving anxiety, decreasing fatigue, and (parental) management of the condition.

Here are five (5) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis (NDx) for croup:

  1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
  2. Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  3. Anxiety
  4. Fatigue
  5. Deficient Knowledge

Deficient Knowledge

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Caregiving to prevent complications and promote recovery

Possibly evidenced by

  • Parents asking information regarding home care of the child and preventive actions

Desired Outcomes

  • Parents will verbalize and understand how to give warm mist for a child with spasmodic croup.
  • Parents will recognize when to seek medical care for their child.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess parent’s understanding of the condition of the child.Provides baseline information for education.
Screen visiting family members and significant others for any infectious disease or recent exposure.Prevents direct contact with a person with illness; Minimizes risk of complications for the infected child.
Instruct parents to notify health care if
their child has a high fever (>101°F) or any signs of breathing problems.
Provides parents with instructions when to seek medical health care.
Educate parents on providing a high-calorie balanced diet and increased fluid intake.Decreases the viscosity of the mucus, and replaces calories used to fight infections, stimulating the child’s own natural immune system.
Stress the importance of adequate sleep and rest periods.Helps the child’s’ ability to recover from illness and prevent relapses.
Encourage and demonstrate handwashing techniques and the appropriate disposal of soiled items.Good hand hygiene prevents spread of illness.
Teach parents how to provide humidity
by running a hot shower while the child is sitting in the bathroom with the
door closed and while holding the child.  Taking the child out into the cool night air when taking child to the hospital, may decrease the symptoms.
Decreases bronchial spasms and relieve mucosal inflammation.
Encourage and teach parents to provide care for the hospitalized child at a level they are comfortable with and within the
constraints of necessary treatments.
Promotes parental identity and control; may decrease anxiety and stress.
Education parents on the administration and uses of prescribed medications.Facilitates appropriate medication administration and recognition of adverse side effects.
Inform parents that spasmodic croup may reoccur for 1 or 2 nights.Provides anticipatory guidance to parents.


Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans for pediatric conditions and diseases:


Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.
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