Sore Throat

A sore throat is usually a symptom of an illness.

What causes a sore throat?

A sore throat is usually a symptom of an illness. Many things can cause a sore throat, including:

Viral infections

Viral infections are the most common cause of a sore throat. The same viruses that cause colds and the flu are responsible for your child’s sore throat. Other viruses like chickenpox, measles, whooping cough, and mononucleosis can cause a sore throat. Sore throats caused by viral infections come with a fever and loss of appetite.

Bacterial infections

Although not as common, bacteria can also be the culprit in your child’s sore throat. Strep throat is the most common bacterial infection that causes a sore throat. Strep throat is highly contagious, so it’s very easy for your child to catch. Strep throat and other bacterial infections can be easily treated with antibiotics.

Environmental factors

Things in your child’s environment can also cause a sore throat. Smoke, allergens, chemical fumes, and other irritants can irritate your child’s throat, making it sore.

Because a sore throat is a symptom, it usually comes with other symptoms like a fever, cough, runny nose, or vomiting. It’s important to talk about all of your child’s symptoms with your urgent care provider so they can accurately diagnose and treat your child’s sore throat.

How are sore throats diagnosed?

To properly diagnose your child’s condition, your doctor will evaluate the symptoms you (or your child) describe. Most commonly, this involves a physical exam of your child’s ears, throat, and nasal passages as well as checking the lymph nodes in your child’s neck and their breathing. Typically, this is enough for the doctor to decide your child’s condition.

It isn’t uncommon for your child to receive a rapid antigen test. This quick test helps determine if your child is suffering from strep throat. A throat culture might also be performed to get a more in-depth look at your child’s condition.

How are sore throats treated?

Treating a sore throat depends on the cause. Viral infections like the flu or a cold usually clear up on their own. Less common bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.

To find the best treatment for your child, it’s best to discuss their condition with an experienced pediatric specialist. Visit Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care or book an appointment by phone or online today.

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