Nobody wants their child to feel ill, but unfortunately, sore throats are common. According to one study, “Sore throat is one of the common reasons for outpatient and emergency visits among children.” Below we review why children get sore throats and how they can be prevented.
Why Children Get Sore Throats
There are many possible causes for a sore throat. Some include:
- Viral infection. Your child most likely has a viral infection if they have a sore throat, runny nose, cough, body aches, fever or upset stomach. These could all be symptoms of COVID-19, so be sure to have your child tested immediately if they exhibit these symptoms.
- Bacterial infection. A bacterial infection like strep throat is most likely to blame if your child has a fever but no runny nose or cough. They may also have a headache, stomach ache or rash.
- Allergies. It’s common to experience a sore throat when you have allergies, especially if a stuffed-up nose lead to mouth breathing. If the sore throat appears to be mild and is accompanied by a stuffy nose, sneezing and itchy eyes, it’s most likely allergies.
- Irritants. Air pollution and smoke can irritate your child’s throat and cause it to feel sore.
- Gastroesophageal reflux. Also known as acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux refers to when the contents of the stomach flow back up into the throat. This can lead to a sore throat. Other symptoms include stomachache and heartburn.
How to Prevent Sore Throats in Children
You can prevent a sore throat by:
- Having your child wash their hands frequently, or use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available.
- Telling your child not to touch their face, especially their nose and mouth.
- Wiping down surfaces at the Albany Public Library or other such public places before your child touches them.
- Doing your best to keep your child away from sick people.
When to Contact a Doctor
You should call a doctor for your child’s sore throat if:
- They have a fever higher than 102°F
- There’s pus on the tonsils
- Throat pain is severe
- They’re not taking fluids
- They have trouble breathing
- They have a rash
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Albany ENT & Allergy Services today.