Sore throats are common ailments and can be quite uncomfortable for kids.
Often a throat lozenge or gargling with salt water will do the trick, but what if it’s a more serious infection? How do you tell when it’s time to head to the doctor?
Look out for the following:
Strep throat is an infection caused by a type of streptococcus bacteria, which cause almost a third of all sore throats. It’s more common in kids aged five to 15, and creeps in during winter and early spring. Along with a sore throat, other
symptoms may include a fever, red and swollen tonsils, painful or swollen neck glands, difficulty swallowing, a stomach ache that is sometimes accompanied by vomiting, red and white patches on the throat, and a very fine rash that looks like sandpaper on their bodies.
This is an inflammation of the mucous lining of the mouth and is caused by viruses. Symptoms include sores in the mouth and throat, redness, swelling and occasional bleeding in the affected area. It makes eating and drinking very sore for children, which could lead to dehydration.
Peritonsillar or Retropharyngeal abscess
This is caused by a collection of pus either behind the tonsils (peritonsillar) or at the back of the throat (retropharyngeal), where the infection also spreads beyond tonsils and into the neck and chest. This can be dangerous, and along with the sore throat, symptoms include a fever, stiff neck, and redness and swelling on one side of the throat.
Hand, foot and mouth disease
This is caused by a family of viruses called enteroviruses and the infection affects children mostly during summer and autumn. Symptoms include a fever, sore throat, and a painful mouth because sores may develop. Small red bumps and blisters also appear especially around the mouth, on the hands and feet, and buttocks.
COMPILED BY NOLWAZI DHLAMINI PHOTOS: FOTOLIA.COM
The advice contained here is strictly for informational purposes. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Always consult your GP or a doctor for specific information regarding your health.