When Your Child Has Pharyngitis or Tonsillitis
|Pain or redness can occur in these areas.|
What Causes Pharyngitis or Tonsillitis?
Most commonly, pharyngitis and tonsillitis are caused by a viral or bacterial infection.
What Are the Symptoms of Pharyngitis or Tonsillitis?
The main symptom of both conditions is a sore throat. Your child may also have a fever, redness or swelling of the throat, and trouble swallowing.
How Is Pharyngitis or Tonsillitis Diagnosed?
The healthcare provider will examine your child’s throat. The healthcare provider might swab (wipe) your child’s throat. This swab will be tested for the bacteria that causes an infection called strep throat. If needed, a blood test can be done to check for a viral infection, such as mononucleosis.
How Is Pharyngitis or Tonsillitis Treated?
If your child’s sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection, the healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics. Otherwise, you can treat your child’s sore throat at home. To do this:
Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease the pain. Don’t give your child aspirin to relieve a fever. Using aspirin to treat a fever in children could cause a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome.
Give your child cool liquids to drink.
Have your child gargle with warm saltwater if it helps relieve pain. An over-the-counter throat numbing spray may also help.
What Are the Long-Term Concerns?
If your child has frequent sore throats, take him or her to see a healthcare provider. Removing the tonsils may help relieve your child’s recurring problems.
Call your child’s healthcare provider right away if your child has any of the following: