The tonsils and adenoids are lymph nodes in the back of the throat and behind the nose. Their job is to help your child’s immune system by capturing bacteria and other harmful germs that can cause infections.
However, sometimes the tonsils can get infected and develop a condition known as tonsillitis. If you suspect your child may have this infection, keep reading to learn the four signs your child is experiencing tonsillitis.
What Is Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is typically a childhood illness that inflames the tonsils when they become infected with a virus or bacteria.
One complication of tonsillitis is a peritonsillar abscess—an infection that spreads behind the tonsils. Prompt treatment is necessary because the inflamed tissue in the chest and neck could block airflow.
There are three types of pediatric tonsillitis. They are:
- Acute—suddenly happens and is easily treatable
- Chronic—constant symptoms even after treatment
- Recurrent—several episodes of acute tonsillitis
Four Signs of Tonsillitis
While there are more than four symptoms of tonsillitis, you need to watch for particular signs if you suspect your child may have tonsillitis.
Four signs your child is experiencing tonsillitis are:
- Sore throat that lasts longer than 48 hours
- Trouble swallowing
- Fever and/or chills
- Ear pain or difficulty breathing
If you believe your child may have tonsillitis, carefully place the handle of a spoon or a popsicle stick on your child’s tongue while they say “ahhhhh” and shine a light into their mouth. If the tonsils look swollen and bright red, you should take your child to the nearest ENT.
When To See a Doctor
It is vital to get an accurate diagnosis from a doctor if your child has symptoms indicating tonsillitis. If your little one is extremely unwell, refusing to eat, experiencing unusual fussiness, and drooling due to difficulty swallowing and breathing, go to the doctor immediately. These signs may indicate severe inflammation of the epiglottis—the flap in the back of the throat.
How To Tackle Tonsillitis at Home
Most children who have tonsillitis can get the care they need at home after seeing a doctor. You can care for your child by:
- Ensuring they get plenty of rest
- Giving them extra fluids to prevent dehydration
- Feeding them soft foods to soothe their sore throat
- Giving them children’s pain relief medication to alleviate a sore throat or headache
Your child should stay home until they feel 100% better and can swallow without pain or irritation, usually within three or four days.
The best way to prevent tonsillitis is to practice good hygiene; the germs that cause bacterial and viral tonsillitis are contagious. Teach your child to wash their hands thoroughly, avoid sharing food and drinks with others, and replace their toothbrush after being diagnosed with tonsillitis.
If you suspect your child has tonsillitis and you live in the Houston area, contact Allergy & ENT Associates today! We have the best ear, nose, and throat doctors in Houston and will ensure your child receives the very best treatment.