Sore throats are extremely common in children, especially if they go to daycare or attend school, given their close proximity to other children and the fact children aren’t necessarily concerned with spreading germs. Below we review the causes of a sore throat, when you should seek care for a sore throat and how to prevent a sore throat.
Causes of a Sore Throat in Children
Some common causes of sore throats in children include:
- Viral infections. If your child’s sore throat is accompanied by runny nose, cough, body aches, fever and upset stomach, their symptoms are probably caused by a virus. If you suspect COVID-19 or if your child has been exposed, it’s important to test as soon as possible.
- Bacterial infections. Strep throat is one of the more common bacterial infections that causes a sore throat. Other symptoms of strep include fever, headache, stomachache, rash and hoarse voice.
- If your child’s allergies are causing congestion, they may start mouth breathing, which can lead to a sore, dry throat. A telltale sign of allergies is itchy, red, watery eyes.
- Exposure to irritants like smoke and air pollution can also cause a sore throat.
- Gastroesophageal reflux. When acid from the stomach flows into the esophagus, it can lead to a sore throat. Other symptoms include stomachaches and heartburn.
When to Seek Care for a Sore Throat
You should seek immediate care for a sore throat if your child also experiences:
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble swallowing
- Excessive drooling
- High fever
- Unusual sleepiness
- Severe pain
Preventing a Sore Throat in Children
You can help prevent a sore throat in children by:
- Having them wash their hands regularly
- Instructing them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow
- Not letting them touch their face
- Not letting them share eating or drinking utensils
- Washing dishes in hot, soapy water
- Wiping down surfaces at Goodyear Community Park
- Staying away from people who are sick
For more information about sore throats in children or to schedule an appointment with a throat expert, call Arizona Desert Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists today.