Sore throatWhat is the best way to treat a sore throat?
At some point or another, all children will experience a sore throat of varying degree. Having a sore throat is one of the most common childhood complaints. Having a sore throat occurs when the mucus membranes lining the pharynx become inflamed. Sore throats are often accompanied by fever, headaches and even abdominal pain. Infants and toddlers that are unable to speak clearly may cry when nursing, drinking or eating. Sore throats are caused by viruses, bacteria and even organisms such as Chlamydia and Mycoplasma. Sometimes, a sore throat is caused by dry air in the home, exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke, sleeping with an open mouth or yelling too loudly. A sore throat that is not caused by a bacteria or virus usually clears up quickly as the pharynx becomes moist again.
Viral and bacterial sore throats are often transmitted by person to person contact or through respiratory droplets, such as coughing and sneezing. You can prevent the spread of sore throat by proper hand washing, overall good hygiene, not sharing personal items and keeping a sanitary living environment. Sore throats caused by environmental factors or allergies are not contagious.
Viruses cause the majority of sore throat cases. Cold and flu viruses are the largest cause of sore throats and your child might experience a runny nose, cough, conjunctivitis and fever. Sometimes children develop a viral sore throat known as mononucleosis, or mono. If your child has mono, their sore throat is usually more severe and lasts longer than a week. Your child will also feel weak and tired. A viral sore throat that lasts longer than a week may be caused by the virus that is responsible for mono. Adenovirus can also be a culprit for sore throats and may also cause infections in the lungs and ears. The virus has to run its course and usually lasts about one week.
Almost all sore throats caused by bacteria are due to the streptococcal bacteria. If your child develops this type of sore throat, it is known as strep throat. An abscess may form in your child's throat that can cause him to have difficulty swallowing, produce an excess amount of saliva or have a difficult time opening his mouth. If your child has strep throat, you might notice small white dots in the back of their throat. If strep throat is left untreated, it can cause rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is less common than in the past, but still can be a problem. Rheumatic fever is a complicated disease that causes painful swollen joints, unusual skin rashes and possible heart damage. Strep throat is extremely contagious and doctors usually want to take throat cultures from all members of the family.
If your child has a sore throat, call your child's doctor to schedule an appointment. A throat culture will usually be taken to determine if your child has strep throat. If the sore throat is caused by a virus, it will have to run its course and your child's doctor will recommend acetaminophen to relieve the discomforts from the illness. If bacteria are to blame, antibiotics will be prescribed and should be taken for the entire course. If your child's sore throat is so severe that there is difficulty swallowing or breathing you should seek immediate medical attention. Comments: Sore throat
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1631 days ago.
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