To prevent croup, take the same steps you use to prevent colds and flu. Frequent hand-washing is most important. Also keep your child away from anyone who's sick, and encourage your child to cough or sneeze into his or her elbow.

To stave off more-serious infections, keep your child's vaccinations current. The diphtheria and Haemophilus influenza type b vaccines offer protection from some of the rarest — but most dangerous — forms of upper airway infection.

Jan. 30, 2013