Sudden onset of a sore throat may signal the start of flu. Treat the symptoms, but call the child’s physician as soon as possible because an antiviral medication may reduce the severity of flu symptoms and reduce the length of the illness.
Another cause may be strep throat, often marked by white patches on the throat and red spots on the tongue or in the roof of the mouth. These symptoms warrant a call to the doctor within 24 hours. An infection with strep always requires an antibiotic.
The pain is worse when the throat is dry. Keep a drink close to the bedside. It is OK if your child does not want to eat, but keep him drinking or offer ice cream, popsicles and Jello for hydration. A cool mist humidifier/vaporizer may help because it adds moisture to the air.
If your child has a fever, always call your doctor or Baptist Health line for the correct dosage of medicine based on your child’s weight. Children grow rapidly so it is easy to under-dose. Do not give over-the-counter cough and cold medication without speaking to your doctor.
Our nurses welcome your questions, and we’ll answer them here every Wednesday. Remember we can answer health questions for all ages, not just children. Just call us any time at (270) 575-2918.