Tonsillitis and Your Child
January 22, 2021
Tags: Tonsillitis  

Has your child been complaining of throat pain? Tonsillitis, one of the illnesses and conditions treated by the pediatricians at 7 Days Pediatrics, may be to blame. The doctors serve the South Plainfield, Perth Amboy, Woodbridge, and Edison, NJ, areas from three convenient offices.

What is tonsillitis?

The tonsils are two soft lumps of tissue located on either side of the back of the throat. The tissues trap germs, helping your child stay healthy. Unfortunately, tonsils can become infected by the same germs they trap. Both viruses and bacteria can cause tonsillitis. A viral infection is most likely to be the cause of tonsillitis in younger children, according to Medline Plus. Bacterial infections are often responsible for infections in children ages 5 to 15 years.

What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?

If your child has tonsillitis, he or she may experience some of these symptoms:

  • Inflamed Tonsils: Tonsils can be seen when your child opens his or her mouth, although you may need a small flashlight to view them clearly. If your son or daughter has tonsillitis, the tonsils may be red or swollen. You may also see yellow or white spots on them.
  • Pain: Throat pain may be the first sign that there is something wrong with your child's tonsils. Your child may also mention other types of pain, such as a stiff neck, headache, or stomach ache.
  • Fever: A fever may accompany any viral or bacterial infection, including tonsillitis.
  • Difficulty Swallowing: Inflamed, enlarged tonsils can make it harder to swallow easily.
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes: Lymph node swelling is common if your child has an infection. If you feel the nodes on either side of the neck, you may notice that they seem larger than normal.

How do pediatricians treat tonsillitis?

Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Although antibiotics aren't helpful if your child's tonsillitis is caused by a viral infection, there are a few things you can do to keep your child comfortable while he or she recovers.

If you don't have ice cream, ice pops, or gelatin on hand, stop by a South Plainfield, Perth Amboy, Woodbridge, or Edison grocery store and pick up these items. Cool foods and drinks soothe inflamed tissues in your child's throat and can decrease pain. Over-the-counter medication, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can reduce pain and fevers. Gargling with salt water and sucking on cough drops may also be helpful.

Although tonsillectomies used to be performed on a routine basis years ago, the surgery is usually only recommended if your child has frequent bouts of tonsillitis.

Are you worried that your child may have tonsillitis? Call the South Plainfield, Perth Amboy, Woodbridge, and Edison, NJ, area pediatricians at (732) 548-3210 to schedule your son or daughter's appointment.