What to Do About a Sore Throat
Sore throats are common at any age and can be one of the first signs of another illness, like a cold, the flu, or mononucleosis (mono). They also can be caused by a strep throat infection, although this is rare in children younger than 2 years old.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of a Sore Throat?
- painful throat
- swollen glands in the neck
- bad breath
- scratchiness in the throat
- redness in the back of the mouth
What Can I Do About a Sore Throat?
Here are some ways kids can relieve sore throat pain:
- sip warm liquids
- eat cold or frozen liquids (such as ice pops)
- gargle with saltwater
- suck on hard candy or throat lozenges (for kids age 4 or older)
- take ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed
Get Medical Care if Your Child:
- has trouble breathing
- has trouble swallowing
- isn't drinking liquids
- is drooling (in a young child)
- feels very tired
- has pus in the back of the throat
- has a sore throat that lasts longer than a few days
- develops a hoarse voice
What Can Help Prevent a Sore Throat?
As with most common illnesses, preventing a sore throat starts with regular hand washing. Kids also can avoid sore throats by:
- not sharing food utensils and glasses with others
- avoiding contact with people who have sore throats or cold symptoms