1. Is it possible for a child with croup to only have one episode of the barking night coughing?
My son started with an intermittant low grade fever, hoarse raspy voice with an occassional cough during the day and then two nights ago woke up with the classic barking seal cough. It was pretty bad, he was wheezing and struggling a little bit, crying didn't help. I got him calmed down, gave him some herbal tea with licorice in it and a humidifier with eucalyptus oil. After about 45 minutes he improved and went back to sleep and hasn't had an episode since. He is still a little hoarse and coughs a little during the day but that is it. I've been giving him large doses of Vit. D which I'm sure has helped but I've never heard of croup going away so fast. This was his first experience with croup. He's four.
2. For how long should I keep him away from other children?
My DS has had "croup" about 4-5 times now, and he only does the cough for one or two nights like you mentioned. So, while it may be unusual for our LOs to "recover" so quickly, I just take it as a good sign for his immune system function and such that he only suffers from the bad cough for so little time.
I think it is pretty common. Dd has croup about four or five times when she was little and it was usually only more severe one night. Once we did take her to the ER.
I would avoid people with babies or children who have illnesses for a week.
Ds has had croup many times - most times, yes, the barking cough lasted only one night. He usually gets it in addition to other things, i.e. colds, etc... I don't knoe about keeping them away from others - I don't think croup itself is contagious, just whatever virus may have caused it. One doctor even told us it could be brought on by his allergies. In my experience it passes pretty quickly - a couple days or so... If they are having trouble breathing though, get them to a doctor. Ds was rushed by ambulance to hosp. in Disney in the middle of the night because his airway was so constricted.