Nobody wants to see their child sick. Unfortunately, it’s common for this to happen due to their underdeveloped immune systems and proximity to other children at daycare or school.
A common symptom children encounter is a sore throat. In fact, according to one study, “Sore throat is one of the common reasons for outpatient and emergency visits among children.” Below we review why children get sore throats and how this symptom can be prevented.
What Causes a Sore Throat in Children?
Common causes of sore throats in children include:
- Allergies. Allergies are the immune system’s response to normally-harmless substances known as allergens. During an allergic reaction, the chemical histamine is produced, which causes inflammation and increased mucus production, including in the throat. In addition, nasal congestion can lead to mouth breathing, which can dry out the throat.
- Viral infections. Viral infections such as the common cold, the flu and COVID-19 can also lead to a sore throat. If your child is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed, it’s important to test for it right away.
- Bacterial infections. The most common bacterial infection that causes a sore throat is strep throat, caused by the bacteria group A Streptococcus.
- Gastroesophageal reflux. This occurs when acid from the stomach flows back up into the esophagus, which can lead to a sore throat along with stomachache and heartburn.
- Irritants. These may be inhaled or swallowed. Common causes include air pollution, smoke and acids. If you think you child has gotten into any dangerous chemicals that are causing their sore throat, contact the Poison Control Center right away at 800-222-1222.
How Can I Prevent My Child from Getting a Sore Throat?
Some tips that can help prevent a sore throat in your child include:
- Instructing them to wash their hands frequently, especially after going to the bathroom and before eating.
- Telling them never to touch their face, especially their eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wiping down surfaces at Cleveland Park and other public places before your child touches them.
- Staying away from sick people as much as possible.
- Coughing and sneezing into tissues or into the elbow bend.
- Not sharing forks, spoons, straws or other eating or drinking utensils.
- Washing dishes in hot, soapy water.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Spartanburg | Greer ENT & Allergy today.