It's not uncommon for children to have problems with their throats from time to time. If your child seems to have a problem with their throat, they may need to visit a child doctor. Here are three common throat problems in children.
1. Sore Throat
Some common causes of sore throats in children include allergies, poor indoor air quality, or a viral infection, such as a cold or influenza. Croup, an infection in the airway that causes a barking cough, can also cause sore throats in children. In some instances, a sore throat might be caused by a digestive disorder, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
When a child has a sore throat, their glands may be swollen and their voice might sound hoarse. Some children with a painful sore throat might also have trouble swallowing. Most sore throats go away on their own, but if it persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, the child should see a doctor.
2. Strep Throat
Sometimes a painfully sore throat is the result of a bacterial infection called strep throat. Besides pain, other symptoms of strep throat include loss of appetite, headache, fever, and nausea. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, you should take them to a child doctor. The doctor will examine the inside of the child's throat to see if the back of their throat has red and white patches, which is another symptom of strep throat.
The child doctor may also perform a strep test. If the test comes back positive, your child will need oral antibiotics. Since strep throat is very contagious, you will want to keep your child home from school and the child should also be careful when interacting with siblings.
When your child's tonsils are swollen and infected, it usually means they have tonsillitis. Along with a sore throat, other symptoms your child might have include fever, bad breath, and an earache. If your child has any of these symptoms, it will require a trip to a child doctor. The doctor will look down your child's throat and look for white or yellow spots, which is common with tonsillitis.
If the tonsillitis is bacterial, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If the child has viral tonsillitis, antibiotics won't help, but they can do a saltwater garble as well as take over-the-counter- medications to help ease the pain. If your child gets tonsillitis a lot, the doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy, which means the child will get their tonsils removed.