Sore throats are a very common childhood issue. Viruses are the most common reason that children get sore throats today. There are a huge number of different viruses that can cause a painful throat, and the pain is often made worse by a high fever. Sore throats are often the result of the common cold. Constant nasal drainage and continual coughing often combine to cause an inflamed and painful throat. Allergies can also cause sore throats, particularly when the child has associated nasal drainage. Strep throat is another cause of sore throats in children. Strep is caused by strep bacteria.
Many parents immediately wonder if their child has strep throat when they have a sore throat, especially if they've been exposed to another child with strep. In most cases, it's not strep, but knowing the symptoms is important. Strep throat commonly causes fever of 101 degrees or higher. Children with strep throat typically have a very inflamed throat, which may include red spots at the back of the mouth. Tonsils may have white pus on them. Swollen neck glands are also common in cases of strep throat. Usually, sore throat and fever are the only symptoms of strep. Sometimes children with strep throat may have a rash on their chest and abdomen, and bad breath may also indicate strep in children with sore throats.
The treatment for sore throat depends on why it occurred. When strep throat is the reason for a child's sore throat, antibiotics are the best way to eliminate the strep bacteria from the body. When the sore throat is caused by a virus, it can't be treated with antibiotics. Antiviral medications may help, however. If a common cold causes the sore throat, the problem will generally run its course with the cold. Cough syrup, sore throat spray, or other throat soothing options may be used. If allergies are the reason for the sore throat, it's important that the allergen is identified so the allergy can be treated or exposure to the allergen can be avoided so the sore throat doesn't become chronic. Once the allergy is treated, the sore throat is relieved. Most kids have a sore throat from time to time, and parents often can't determine why it started. The pediatricians at Guardian Angels Health Center can determine what the cause is and whether it requires treatment.