Sore Throat Treatment Sugar Land
Since the immune system of young children is still developing in their early years of life, they frequently experience some minor health problems. Having a sore throat is one of these common complaints. It is usually not a cause for concern, but sometimes it can be responsible for serious complications either in the short term, like difficulty breathing and swallowing, or in the long term such as heart disease.
The medical team at Pediatrics of Sugar Land are here to help your child recover from a sore throat, but to also prevent any long-term health complications. So contact us today to book an appointment!
Sore Throat Q&A
What is a sore throat?
Having a sore throat is a common complaint among children. It simply refers to the throat area becoming inflamed and painful, frequently the result of a viral or bacterial infection.
The throat is an important anatomical structure because it takes part in vital functions such as breathing, swallowing, and creating vocal sounds. Any inflammation or soreness in this area can be uncomfortable and can cause serious complications.
What signs accompany a sore throat?
Often, a child with a sore throat will also experience a handful of other symptoms. Most signs will be indicative of infection since it’s the most common cause of sore throats. These symptoms include having a fever, coughing, fatigue, and difficulty swallowing.
Other signs can offer information about any underlying conditions that could be causing the sore throat. For instance, having red and itchy skin, sneezing, and experiencing a runny nose and watery eyes are signs of allergy, which is another possible cause behind a sore throat.
Some warning signs should prompt immediate medical care. These signs include difficulty breathing, drooling, and extreme lethargy or a high fever that won’t go down.
What are the causes of a sore throat?
The most common cause of sore throats is an infection. The germ responsible will differ based on many factors such as the age of the child and their immune status.
A variety of bacteria and viruses can cause upper respiratory tract infections, tonsillitis, and abscesses in the throat. Given the current pandemic context in the world, covid-19 is also a possible cause of developing a sore throat in children.
Aside from infection, other causes for a sore throat include allergies, irritation from overusing the vocal cords, acid reflux, or drinking a hot beverage. Complications from cavities and other dental problems can also spread to the throat and cause inflammation.
What are the possible complications of having a sore throat?
A sore throat is usually not a serious symptom, but in some cases, it can cause complications such as:
– Infection spread to other people.
– Poor appetite and weight loss.
– Difficulty breathing.
– Abscess formation and the collection of pus in the throat walls.
– Eustachian tube dysfunction and middle ear infections.
Other complications happen in the long term, and they relate especially to strep throat.
What does strep throat look like?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. It’s caused by a type of bacteria called group A Streptococcus.
Symptoms of strep throat include:
- – A sudden severe sore throat without symptoms of a cold (like coughing, runny nose)
- – Painful swallowing which can be so severe it makes it hard to swallow
- – Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
- – Tiny red spots on the area at the back of the roof of the mouth (soft or hard palate)
- – Swollen, tender lymph nodes in your neck
- – Fever
- – Headache
- – Rash
- – Nausea or vomiting, especially in younger children
- – Body aches
It’s worth noting that these symptoms can also be indicative of other illnesses, so it’s always best to seek advice from a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.
As a reminder, strep throat is highly contagious and can spread through airborne droplets when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes, or through shared food or drinks.
Why is strep throat particularly concerning?
Strep throat is the common name of a bacterial throat infection caused by group A Streptococcus. This type of bacteria is especially dangerous because if untreated, or not treated properly, it can cause serious complications in the long term. These complications include rheumatic fever, heart and kidney disease, and joint pain.
For these reasons, it’s advised that all children with a sore throat be examined by a medical professional, who will be able to either rule out the diagnosis or to start the right treatment and surveillance plan if it’s indeed strep throat.
What to do if my child has a sore throat?
The first step toward a quick convalescence is to encourage your child to rest at home. This will not only speed up recovery but will also prevent the infection from spreading to other people.
Parents should always search for warning signs that need immediate medical care. These signs include difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, the formation of abscesses and collections of pus in the throat, lethargy, and deterioration of the child’s general state.
A high temperature should be brought down with the help of physical measures such as cold showers and compresses. Medications like acetaminophen can also be used, but NSAIDs are best avoided since they can worsen infections.
Warm beverages and liquid foods such as smoothies and soups will be easier to swallow. They will also accelerate recovery and will improve the pain and discomfort associated with having a sore throat.
Last but not least, make sure that your child is examined by a pediatrician, who will be able to rule out any emergencies, to identify the cause of the sore throat and to treat it properly.
What’s the importance of medical care for children with a sore throat?
Although a sore throat is usually not a serious problem, it can sometimes be caused by life-threatening conditions such as epiglottitis or tonsil abscess. Medical care is necessary to rule out these serious diagnoses.
Strep throat is another diagnosis that needs medical attention. A pediatrician will be able to diagnose and properly treat strep throat. The child will also be closely monitored to prevent the development of strep throat complications.
If the sore throat keeps reoccurring, the doctor will be able to identify any underlying issues such as acid reflux or allergies. In case of reoccurring tonsillitis or strep throat, tonsil removal surgery will be suggested.
Prevention is the best medicine, and the best way to prevent throat infections is to fully vaccinate your child. Regularly consulting a pediatrician is the best way to ensure that your child’s immunization schedule is respected.