Pediatric Specialists of Plano

What causes a sore throat in children?

Your child has a scratchy voice, watery eyes, difficulty sleeping, and pain with eating and drinking. Witnessing a sore throat in children is a sad ordeal. Our Plano pediatricians frequently answer questions from parents about where their child’s sore throat came from, what to do, how long it may last and when to worry about strep.

Here, we’ll give you a crash course on how to treat a sore throat. You’ll be fully equipped the next time your little one comes to you, holding their throat and asking for a lozenge.

A sore throat in children is very common

Most of the time a sore throat is a side effect of something else going on inside the body. A sore throat in children is usually a sign that a virus or infection is present.

  • A sore throat is often the first sign of the common cold, with congestion, cough and fever showing up 24 hours later.
  • Viral pharyngitis occurs when the throat becomes inflamed. It is not a bacterial infection (like strep), but a virus that is treated with over the counter medication, fluids and rest.
  • The main symptoms of infectious mono are sore throat, fever and swollen lymph nodes. Mono is usually seen in teenagers, and treatment requires abundant rest.
  • We are often asked how to treat a sore throat after a sinus infection. Post-nasal drip from the infection can cause irritation in the throat. Antihistamines, sinus rinses, humidifiers and plenty of water help promote proper drainage after a sinus infection.

A cold, viral pharyngitis, mono and a sinus infection each require different treatments. Our Plano pediatricians can determine which ailment has your child down. Then, they can prescribe the right remedy that will have them back on their feet in no time.

How to treat a sore throat that’s actually strep throat

A sore throat in children often means strep pharyngitis, especially if it comes on fast and is not accompanied by cold symptoms. If your child all of a sudden complains of a painful sore throat, has trouble swallowing and has a fever, bring them to one of our Plano pediatricians for a strep test.

We will check to see if their tonsils are red, swollen and look infected. Red spots on the roof of their mouth are often visible, and their lymph nodes are typically swollen. The answer to how to treat a sore throat when it comes to strep is straightforward. After a few days on an antibiotic, your child will be feeling as good as new. Strep can be harmful if left untreated though, so be sure to consult with your physician early on in your child’s symptoms.

A sore throat can be easily remedied, with the help of a caring physician, some fluids, rest and most importantly, lots of TLC from mom and dad.

Contact our office for more information about how to help when your child has a sore throat.

Healthy Children

When to see the doctor

  • Sick visits
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fevers
  • Ear infections
  • Ear tubes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Childhood illness
  • Asthma
  • Food allergies
  • Pet allergies
  • Insect allergies
  • Sore Throat
  • Skin conditions
  • Moles
  • Warts
  • Eczema
  • Sunburns
  • Wounds and injuries
  • Stings and bites
  • Antibiotics
  • Chickenpox
  • Croup
  • Whooping cough
  • Sight and hearing checks
  • ADD
  • ADHD
  • Dyslexia
  • Childhood cancers
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Safe ear piercing
  • Learning differences
  • Autism
  • Gender questioning