Family Health Guide

You are here

Sore Throat: Age-by-age Guide


Throat infections in infants often don’t cause much more than a low fever and a runny nose.


Not able to communicate fully, kids ages one to three might describe the pain as a tummyache, or may grab or point to their neck. You may notice that they’re not eating much.

Kids ages 2-6 are most commonly affected by Hib-induced epiglottitis, which is why it’s important to get the Hib vaccine as an infant.


At about age 3, strep throat can make your child feel sicker than it did when he was younger, with a higher fever, swollen glands and a very sore throat.

Throat infections like coxsackie, strep throat and tonsillitis pick up during the preschool years, as school and daycare settings provide more opportunities for bacteria and viruses to spread.

School-age Kids

The Coxsackievirus usually affects children under the age of ten, both because of their close surroundings in school and child-care centers. As kids grow older they develop antibodies for immunity, although there is still a small risk for teens and adults.