Otorhinolaryngological Diseases
Sore Throat in Children


  • A sore throat is pain, burning or dryness of the throat, causing difficulty swallowing. 
  • Most cases are caused by viruses, and some are caused by bacteria.
  • If a baby under 3 months of age has a high fever, contact your doctor right away.
  • Most sore throat cases go away without medical intervention, but some need treatment.
  • It is important to teach your baby good hygiene, such as: washing hands, and avoid exposing him to cold air.​
    Sore Throat:
A sore throat is pain, burning or dryness of the throat, causing difficulty swallowing. It is one of the most common diseases in children. Most sore throat cases go away without medical intervention, and in some cases tests should be performed to see if the baby needs antibiotics.

Most cases of sore throat are caused by viruses like those cause colds and flu, no antibiotics are required, others are caused by bacteria such as: streptococcus bacteria. Other common causes include:
  • Allergies, (nasal allergies).
  • Inhaling dry cold air.
  • Pollution, especially airborne chemicals, or irritants.
  • Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.

Risk Factors:
  • Age, children and teens, 5 through 15 years old, are most likely to develop sore throats.
  • Exposure to someone with a sore throat.
  • It tends to circulate in winter and early spring.
  • Cold air can irritate your throat.
  • Tonsils are large in size, with irregular shape.
  • Pollution or exposure to smoke.
  • Weakened immunity.
  • Nasal allergies.
If sore throat is caused by viral infection, or allergies, symptoms include the followings:
  • Sneezing.
  • Cough.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Headache and body aches. 
  • Runny nose.
  • Fever, below 38 ° C.
If the sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection, the symptoms are as follows:
  • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus.
  • Fever, 38 ° C or higher.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Headache and body aches. 
  • Rash. ​

When to see a doctor?
  • Sore throat lasting for more than a week.
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing. 
  • Excessive drooling, especially in young children.
  • Fever.
  • Appearance of streaks of pus in the back of throat. 
  • Rash and joint pain.
  • Changes in the child voice (hoarseness), lasts for more than two weeks.
  • Blood in saliva or phlegm.
  • Symptoms of dehydration, including: dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, decreased urine output and wet diapers, crying, muscle weakness, headache, and dizziness.
  • Recurrent sore throats.
If a baby under 3 months of age has a high fever, contact your doctor right away. 

The pediatrician examines your baby to diagnose viral sore throat and rule out bacterial infection. He will also examine your baby with sore throat caused by bacteria by doing a rapid swap of his throat.

Antibiotics are not necessary for treating most of sore throat, which will get better on their own within one week or two. Antibiotics will not help a sore throat caused by a virus or irritants in the air, and may harm children and adults alike. 
Doctors prescribe antibiotics for a baby with sore throat caused by the streptococcal bacteria, to prevent rheumatic fever. The baby should stay at home for one day after starting the antibiotics, making sure to drink warm fluids.   

  • Teach your children how to clean their hands properly, using napkins when coughing or sneezing, and others.  
  • Avoid close contact with people who have sore throats, colds, or other upper respiratory infections.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. 
  • Avoid exposure of your baby to cold air in winter and early spring.
  • Treat your baby having allergic rhinitis with preventive medication such as: nasal sprays, and others.

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Last Update 29 January 2020 11:46 AM
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