According to the Mayo Clinic, a sore throat is one of the Top 5 reasons kids miss school. Most sore throats are causes by viruses, but in some cases the infection can be bacterial, like strep throat. Most often, your child will have other symptoms as well, such as a cough or runny nose. Though most sore throats resolve on their own, there are steps you can take to limit your child's pain and reduce the duration of the illness.
Though your child might not want to swallow, it is important to make sure he drinks plenty of fluids to flush the virus out of his system. A soothing beverage is honey and lemon mixed into hot water. You also will want to ask your child to refrain from shouting or straining his voice. Humidity and steam also can ease inflamed throats. Running a humidifier or having your child sit in a steamy bathroom can help ease the pain and loosen mucus. If your child is older, he can gargle with salt water or suck on a throat drop.
If your child has a fever with their sore throat, you may want to have her tested for strep throat. If the cause of the sickness is viral, it will heal on its own, but bacterial sore throats require antibiotics. It is important your child finish her prescribed course of antibiotics, even if she begins to better. This will prevent the sore throat from returning and also stop the bacteria from becoming resistant to antibiotics. It is important to find out the cause of the sore throat because antibiotics are useless against viral infections.
A plethora of alternate treatments are available for a sore throat, but according to the Mayo Clinic there is limited evidence to support their efficacy. Most often these treatments are herbs that you brew into teas. You can usually find these herbs at a grocery store or health food store. It is important you speak to your doctor before using them so you can give your child the proper amount. These herbs include licorice root, honeysuckle, eucalyptus and chamomile.
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