If your child has a sore throat, your first impulse is probably to pack them up and head directly to the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon. Hold on just a moment, though. A sore throat could be Strep throat, but it could also be a symptom of a cold or sinus infection. Before you make an appointment with your Local Doctor or Paediatrician, look for other symptoms and see if this is just a viral infection that can be treated with rest and lots of fluids or whether it’s time to see the doctor.
Seeing a Doctor for a sore throat in children
Sore throats can be caused by viral infections, such as a cold or cough. Your child may experience a sore throat toward the end of suffering from a cold or an allergic reaction. This happens when the sinuses are draining, and your child has swallowed a lot of mucous over a period of a few days.
If a sore throat occurs in conjunction with a cold or cough, and there is no fever, you will probably not be helping your child out with a trip to the doctor. Instead, it is time to put them to bed and make sure they drink a lot of fluid. You might want to get a humidifier for their room for this time to moisten the air they breathe as they sleep.
If your child is old enough, throat lozenges can help relieve a sore throat. Generally, if your child is 4 years old or older, you should be able to give them a throat lozenge without any problem.
Making an appointment with an ENT Surgeon
If the sore throat seems to come out of nowhere, especially if your child has a fever, make an appointment to see your Local Doctor or Paediatrician. Other signs that a sore throat is probably a bacterial infection that needs treatment (with antibiotics) include:
- A rash on the chest and/or back
- Neck pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Difficulty maintaining hydration
- Headache and stomach ache
If your child exhibits any or all of these symptoms, they may have Strep throat, which will not go away on its own. Untreated, Strep throat can develop into rheumatic fever, which can be dangerous. Fortunately, it can be treated with a simple round of antibiotics.
After the Doctor’s Visit
Your child will no longer be contagious after about 24 hours of taking antibiotics as directed, so you won’t have to worry about anyone else in the family catching Strep throat from them after this time.
To ensure that your child heals and recovers properly, make sure that they take the full course of antibiotics your doctor prescribes. Your child might start to feel better before all of the medication is gone, but if you stop medication at this point, you are risking a recurrence of infection down the road.
Until your child feels better, be sure to give them plenty of fluids and that they get lots of rest. Do not worry if they don’t eat a lot while they’re feeling sick, as Strep throat and other bacterial throat infections can make swallowing very painful. Feed them soft foods and allow a light diet, with lots of water, vitamin-rich juices, and milk to supplement their diet until they feel well enough to eat again.
Most importantly, pay attention to your child’s symptoms. If they persist past the regimen of antibiotics, make another appointment with your specialist to see if further treatment is necessary.
If you have questions or concerns about ear surgery contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see an Ear Nose Throat Surgeon.