There are 2 kinds of sore throats:
- Bacterial sore throats usually bring a high fever, headaches, or swollen neck glands. But some-times children with bacterial sore throats have no other problems. Strep throat is one kind of bacterial sore throat. Antibiotics can help cure a bacterial sore throat.
- Viral sore throats are more common. They may or may not bring the same problems as a bacterial sore throat. You can’t cure a viral sore throat with antibiotics.
Take your child to the doctor if they have a bad sore throat. Sore throats can lead to other problems like abscesses, kidney infections, or rheumatic heart disease. The doctor may take a throat culture to find out what is wrong. The doctor may give your child antibiotics if the child has strep or some other bacterial sore throat.
Questions to Ask
|Is the sore throat very bad, and is it very hard for your child to swallow or breathe?|
|Is this true?|
|Does your child have any of these problems with the sore throat?|
|Are there bright red or white spots at the back of your child’s throat?|
|Does someone else in the family have strep throat? Or does your child get strep throat often?|
|Has your child had the sore throat more than 2 weeks?|
Try these tips for your child’s sore throat pain:
- Have them gargle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 1/2 cup of warm water. Have them gargle every few hours. Only do this with children over 8 years old.
- Give them plenty of warm drinks like tea and soup. Your child can drink the tea plain or with honey. (Don’t give honey to a baby under 1 year old.)
- Use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in the room where your child spends most of their time. Clean it every day. Use distilled, not tap water.
- Feed your child foods that are soft and/or cold. The food should be easy to swallow. Don’t feed them spicy foods.
- Have them suck on a piece of hard candy or a cough drop if they are 5 or more years old. You can give corn syrup to a younger child.
- Give your child acetaminophen for the pain and fever.
(Note: Do not give aspirin to anyone under 19 years old unless your doctor tells you to. Aspirin and other medicines that have salicylates have been linked to Reye’s Syndrome, a condition that can kill.)
- Don’t use throat sprays. Some throat sprays have benzocaine. Benzocaine bothers some children.
- Keep your child away from second-hand smoke.