Family Health Guide

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Sore Throat: At the Doctor

Before your appointment, take a few minutes to jot down which symptoms your child is experiencing, when they popped up, and how long they’ve been going on. For babies who can’t communicate how they’re feeling, look for signs of sore throat discomfort, like fussiness, refusal to eat, increased drool, or touching their neck.

Some kids are scared to get a throat culture, or experience uncomfortable gagging. Telling your child to pant like a dog can help calm the gag reflex and distract them from the procedure.

If your child has a recurring problem with throat infections, your doctor may bring up the option of a tonsillectomy. Every parent must weigh the risks of surgery with the benefits, but for kids with sleep apnea or breathing problems due to enlarged tonsils, the surgery can be very beneficial. Have your doctor refer you to a pediatric otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) if you think your child might be a candidate.