Sore Throat

Disponible En Espanol


Definition:

  • Pain, discomfort or raw feeling of the throat
  • Made worse when swallows
  • Rare symptom before 2 years old
  • Not caused by an injury to the throat

Causes·    

  • Colds (URIs). Most sore throats are part of a cold.  In fact, a sore throat may be the only symptom for the first 24 hours. 
  • Viral pharyngitis. Some viruses cause a sore throat without nasal symptoms. 
  • Strep pharyngitis. Group A Strep is the most common bacterial cause. It accounts for 20% of persistent sore throats. Only these need an antibiotic.

Strep Throat

  • Symptoms include sore throat, fever, headache, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
  • Cough, hoarseness, red eyes, and runny nose are usually not seen with Strep throat. These symptoms point more to a viral cause.
  • Scarlet fever rash (fine, red, sandpaper-like rash) is highly suggestive of Strep throat.
  • Peak age: 5 to 15 years old.  Not common under 2 years old unless sibling has Strep.
  • Diagnosis should be confirmed by a Strep test before starting treatment. There is no risk to your child to delay treatment until a Strep test can be done.
  • Standard treatment is with antibiotics by mouth.

Symptoms in Infants and Toddlers

  • Children less than 2 years of age usually don't complain about a sore throat. A young child who does not want favorite foods may have a sore throat. They may also start to cry during feedings. Their symptoms are usually better covered using DRINKING FLUIDS -DECREASED guide.

Return to School

  • Your child can return to school after the fever is gone. Your child should feel well enough to join in normal activities.
  • Also, children with Strep throat need to be taking an antibiotic for 24 hours.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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