No parent is happy seeing their kids sick but unfortunately, sore throat is quite common in children. Not every case is serious though, as some might only feel a bit of itch in the area. On the other hand, worse cases will make it difficult to swallow. Whatever the case, your little one will most likely feel uncomfortable and grumpy, so you would want to find ways to help with the discomfort.
If you are not sure if your child is really suffering from a sore throat, look for some of these symptoms. First, you should feel some enlargement and tenderness of the glands in the neck. Second, he or she might express discomfort when swallowing. Lastly, the tonsils appear red and swollen.
Most instances of sore throat are caused by a virus, which means it will run its course even without medication. However, it might be worse, meaning your little one might have a strep infection. If he or she is unable to participate in daily activities, it is a sign that you should make a doctor’s appointment to have it checked.
For mild cases of sore throat, these are some simple steps parents can take to help their kids become comfortable and get better.
Drink warm liquids
Even if the throat hurts, your kid might find drinking something warm like tea or broth soothing. It may also increase the flow of blood into the throat area and ease the discomfort. If your child is younger than 1 year, do not add honey, as it is not yet safe for their young and underdeveloped intestinal tracts. Citrus juice might make the throat feel worse, but a few drops of lemon will not be bad for your baby.
Gargle with warm salt water
This is only recommended for kids who will not swallow the solution. Much like drinking tea, the warmth of the salt water will feel good when they have a sore throat. Plus, gargling is a good way to clean the mouth.
You should watch out that your child does not get dehydrated, especially young babies. Even if it is difficult to swallow, you need to keep offering him or her liquids, either water or milk. Your kid might not drink a lot because of the discomfort, so try to give him or her fewer amounts of fluids, but more frequently. This way, they are always hydrated enough.
Try a lozenge of frozen fruit pop
Sucking on a lozenge might relieve them of sore throat, so long as the child is old enough to not swallow it fully and possibly choke on it. If they are younger, try to offer a frozen fruit pop instead.
Use a humidifier
If you smoke, do your best to keep your child in a smoke-free environment to ease the options. You may also opt to use a humidifier. Not only does it keep your breathing air moist, but it can also soothe the sore throat. It is also perfect for other symptoms like a stuffy nose. However, make sure that the filters are clean so that it does not add germs to the air, and change the water daily to avoid mold and bacteria.
Give safe medication
With the advice of your doctor, you may also administer some medicines to help your child recover more quickly. Those younger than 6 months old may take some acetaminophen, while older kids may already take ibuprofen. Aspirin is not a good option because it may lead to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious condition. Just make sure you consult with your pediatrician before using any medication on the little one.
If it is a simple viral infection, the symptoms should disappear after a week even without any medication. However, if it doesn’t improve after a week or the fever remains high, it might be time to go to the doctor. The same happens when he or she is suddenly unable to swallow normally or when a sore throat keeps coming back. It is best to consult with a professional to make sure it is nothing more serious.
To help relieve soreness, check out our list of the best cough medicines for kids.
By following these simple steps, you might be able to improve your child’s sore throat more quickly, allowing him and her to resume daily activities and feel much better again.