Sore throat or Pharyngitis is caused by swelling or inflammation of the pharynx, a common problem found in children. Pharynx is in the back of the throat, between the tonsils and the voice box called larynx. The diagnosis of this disease can often be tricky. It can be part of the common cold or tit may be associated with other more serious problems. Sometimes it can develop into life-threatening complications, such as abscesses or rheumatic fever that can affect breathing. For some it may turn a chronic problem.
Symptoms of sore throat
1) Usually, the first symptom that can be noticed may be the hoarseness in the throat. Children may refuse to eat food.
2) The children may experience difficulty in breathing. There may also sometimes be some bluishness around the mouth.
3) A sore throat starts with a kind of pain, scratchiness or irritation of the throat that often worsens while swallowing.
4) The primary symptom of sore throat is swelling of the pharynx. Older children may be able to know the difference in their throat.
5) There may be pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat. The pain may worsen with swallowing or talking.
6) The throat may be dry.
7) A sore throat in children often comes with a white coating on the throat and tongue. There may be rash on the neck, chest and back.
8) The voice may turn hoarse or muffled. Speech may become difficult.
9) Sore throat in children may be accompanied with cold, cough or even fever.
Causes of sore throat
1) Low temperature in weather causes sore throat. Most cases of pharyngitis occur during the colder months. The illness often spreads among family members through viral or bacterial infection.
2) Generally, sore throats are caused by infection of viruses. When it is caused by viruses there may be flu and cold. These viruses can cause specific types of sore throat, such as mononucleosis.
3) Bacterial infections also cause sore throat. There are different types. Strep throat is caused by a bacterium known as Streptococcus pyogenes.
4) Sore throat with whooping cough which is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection is caused by bacteria.
Treatments and home remedies
1) A sore throat should not be ignored. Children are affected by it more and you should not waste time in taking them to a pediatrician. Sore throat by virus may not be easy to be treated by antibiotics.
2) If there are no other serious symptoms it can be treated at home with some home remedies such as a cool mist vaporizer.
3) If sore throat is associated with cough, the throat tissues can be soothed with a mixture of warm water or tea with honey and lime juice. It is not safe to give honey to children under the age of 1 because of the risk of infant botulism.
4) Gargling with warm salt water is highly recommended to help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort. Gargling with salt water at every hour is ideal.
5) An experienced doctor can decide if the child needs a throat culture test of swab. He can prescribe an antibiotic if the sore throat is caused by bacteria.