What if My Child Has Tonsillitis?

Child with tonsillitis

Is your child complaining of chills, a stiff neck, and a fever? Although you can mistake these symptoms for the flu or other common medical conditions, there might be a problem with their tonsils. Bacteria or a virus might be the culprit. Infections can happen at any age, but we see it mostly in children and teens because their immune systems are still developing. If your child has tonsillitis, the symptoms may go away after some time. However, if they keep coming back, it may be time to see a doctor.

How Can I Tell if My Child Has Tonsillitis? What Should I Do?

If your child shows any of the symptoms above, like neck pain or pain when they swallow, check their tonsils. Look for redness, swelling, spots, and possibly a white or yellowish coating. Does their breath smell foul? Are their glands swollen? Are they running a fever? If so, they just might have a tonsil infection.

How Does Tonsillitis Happen?

Tonsils, which are lymph nodes that are positioned on each side of the back of your throat, protect your body against viruses and bacteria that enter your mouth. But they aren’t invincible. Bacteria, like Streptococcus, can infect them. Viruses such as the common cold and Epstein Barr can also cause tonsillitis.

Is Tonsillitis Contagious?

Surprisingly, tonsillitis is contagious, along with the viruses and bacteria that cause it. That’s why it’s best to check with a doctor if you are unsure how to treat it.

Should My Child’s Tonsils Be Removed?

Your doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy if your child’s tonsils:

  • Continue to become infected
  • Get in the way of their breathing
  • Disrupt their sleep

Tonsillectomies are typically outpatient procedures, This means patients can go home the same day. However, recovery time is still needed and will vary from patient to patient.

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