Sore Throat

Helping your child get through a sore throat

A sore throat is a common childhood ailment and can be caused by many bacterial and viral infections. Normally, it is a symptom for some other illness, but most commonly, a child with a sore throat has the common cold and is not seriously ill. A sore throat can be very annoying and often very painful. Sore throat remedies can help with treating this symptom and making the child feel better.

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What causes a sore throat?

A sore throat is often caused by irritation in the throat, lungs, or ears. Because this is a symptom for so many other illnesses, the direct cause of the sore throat may be another illness entirely. Generally, sore throats present with a red mouth or throat, and sometimes white patches on the back of the throat or tongue. A sore throat is generally not serious.

Sore throat treatment

A sore throat can be treated by over the counter medications, such as Tylenol or Advil. This can help bring down the level of pain. Gargling with salt water or using a throat spray may also help numb and soothe the pain of a sore throat. Home remedies for sore throats can include drinking tea with lemon and honey, drinking a "hot toddy", which is tea or hot water with a shot of alcohol (not recommended for children), or sucking on homeopathic cough drops to soothe the throat and keep it moist.

A sore throat is often more painful when it is dry. It is advised that any child with a sore throat drink a lot of water or other fluids to keep the throat moist. There are no real sore throat cures; but when the illness causing the sore throat clears up, the symptom generally fades as well.

Some people find that steam can soothe sore throats and sore chests from coughing. Medicated topical creams like Vicks can also help with the pain from coughing (which can cause the throat to be sore, too). While sore throats are annoying, they can be cleared up easily when their causing illness is treated. See your doctor if your child's sore throat is persistent for more than a few days.