Tonsillitis in Children: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options


What is tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is a swelling of the tonsils, the almond-shaped lymph nodes that hang down at both sides of the back of the throat– and it’s very common in children.

The tonsils filter out bacteria in the throat, however when an infection or bacteria is too strong, it can cause the tonsils to swell. Difficulty swallowing and refusal to eat are generally the first signs of tonsillitis that parents notice in their young child.

What are the symptoms of tonsillitis in kids?

Signs that your child might have tonsillitis consist of:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Headache.
  • Ear pain (your child may pull on his ears).
  • Bad breath.
  • Snoring or mouth breathing while sleeping.
  • Enlarged glands in the neck and jaw.
  • A raised fever and chills.
  • Refusal to eat
  • Loss of voice.
  • Drooling.
  • Neck or jaw pain.
  • A persistent sore throat in a baby, toddler, or older child.

Many other throat infections can cause comparable symptoms, though, so the doctor will need to analyze your child to make a medical diagnosis.

Diagnosing of tonsillitis

The doctor looks inside your child’s mouth to see whether the tonsils are red and inflamed and whether there are white patches or pus on the tonsils.

The doctor will also probably feel under the jaw and on the neck to see whether your child’s lymph glands there are swollen. Like the tonsils, the lymph glands become part of the body’s body immune system, and they can end up being swollen when an infection exists.

tonsils infection symptoms
Depending on what your doctor sees during the exam, a throat culture might be required to rule out strep throat, given that strep bacteria are a common reason for tonsillitis. Initial results may be available in just minutes, however the culture may also be sent out to a laboratory for testing. Those results might take a day or two.

If your child has strep, antibiotics will be recommended. In reality, if strep is presumed however the test outcomes aren’t available yet, the doctor may begin your child on antibiotics to obtain the recovery began as quickly as possible.

It’s essential to offer your child the complete course of antibiotics (usually over a 10-day duration), even if he seems far better in a day approximately. If he stops taking the antibiotics too soon, the bacteria might not be totally eliminated and might come back even more powerful. Of course, antibiotics won’t help if your child’s sore throat is caused by a virus.

Whether the infection is bacterial or viral, you’ll want to keep your child home till he’s feeling much better (and has actually been on the antibiotic, if recommended, for 24 hours)– both for his benefit and the benefit of others who might easily catch the infection from him.

How can I make my child more comfortable?

Ensure that your child gets as much rest as possible, and do what you can to make her feel much better. Some things to try:.

  • Keep cigarette smoke and other air toxins far from your child. They can aggravate a sore throat.
  • If she’s old enough to not swallow it, have your child suck on a throat lozenge or hard candy. It promotes production of saliva, which bathes and cleans the throat.
  • Humidify the air. Adding wetness to the air can lower throat irritation and make it easier for kids to sleep. Modification the water in space humidifiers daily and clean the system as directed to prevent the development of hazardous mold and bacteria.
  • If your child is at least 3 months old, give her the right dosage of children’s acetaminophen or (if she’s 6 months or older) ibuprofen to minimize fever and ease pain. If you have a baby under 3 months old, speak to a doctor before offering her any medication. (Never offer your child aspirin.
  • It’s associated with Reye’s syndrome, an unusual but harmful health problem.).
  • If you can teach your child how to rinse, have him gargle with warm soltwater. Stir 1/2 teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water up until liquified. When your child is done gargling, make certain he spits out the water.
  • Deal her cold beverages or ice pops, to numb the pain a bit, or warm (not hot), calming liquids– like broth or tea. A little honey and lemon in warm water makes a comforting tonic. The honey coats and soothes the throat, and the lemon helps in reducing the mucus. (Don’t provide honey to a child who hasn’t reached her first birthday, however, because of the risk of botulism.).
  • Place a conveniently warm hot-water bottle or compress on his neck.

Is tonsillitis ever serious?

Tonsillitis is a typical youth disease, and it’s typically no cause for concern. You’ll have to look after it, however– by having your child take antibiotics if the offender is bacterial and by watching on the infection, whatever the cause.

A strep infection that goes untreated can progress to form an abscess– a collection of pus between the tonsils and the surrounding tissue that can cause severe swelling. Hardly ever, the infection spreads to the blood stream, neck, or chest. A neglected strep infection can likewise result in rheumatic fever, which can cause heart issues.

The other threat is dehydration. Because it’s difficult for your child to swallow, he’ll have a difficult time getting enough fluids. So keep pressing the liquids, even in little sips, and watch for signs of dehydration.

More: when does tonsillitis require surgery?


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