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
    • fever
    • 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
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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