Sore throat, the simplified term used by doctors and parents to define the inflammation of the children`s neck, which can occur due to a cold or a bacteria. The inflammation can be acute or chronic, and the causes are generally infectious.
A sore throat is common regardless the child`s age. If the infant shows difficulty in swallowing, fever, nasal discharges, he`s coughing or refuses to eat, then you can be sure he has a sore throat. This is a common illness during childhood, being the result of a bacterial or viral infection. Although any possible complications might rarely occur, sometimes this happens.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Sore Throat?
- 2 How Can You Tell If an Infant Has a Sore Throat?
- 3 Causes of Sore Throat
- 4 What Can You Give Babies for Sore Throats?
What Is Sore Throat?
Sore throat in infants is caused by a bacterial infection which is caused by Group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus and is in fact the inflammation of the upper respiratory ways, the tonsils to be more exact. These ones secrete a series of antibodies with a specific role of blocking any infections from entering the body, acting more like a filter. Also, the tonsils trigger the production of protective cells when they sense the presence of pathogens in the mouth or nose. Therefore, depending on their action, they inflame and cause sore throat.
How Can You Tell If an Infant Has a Sore Throat?
Sore throat manifests through difficulty in swallowing or refusal to eat, increased body temperature of the infant, the presence of nasal secretions, bad breath, sneezing, stuffy nose, red eyes, scratchiness inside the throat or coughing.
This medical condition starts after 5 days from the moment the virus enters the baby`s body by throat swelling, local pain and other signs.
The duration of sore throat in infants is up to 10 days and sometimes it goes away of itself. However, when noticing the above symptoms in the baby, keep in mind that you need to get in touch with a pediatrician immediately in order to avoid any complications which might put the life of the little one in danger.
Causes of Sore Throat
The cause of sore throat very much depends on the baby`s age, the geographical area as well as the season. Although viruses represent the most common cause of this condition, bacteria may also cause such medical problems.
Bacteria and viruses spread from person to person through hand touch. For example, someone is contaminated with bacteria, he touches his nose or mouth and then touches the baby.
It`s pretty difficult to diagnose sore throat at home based on the symptoms. This is also the reason for which a medical examination and lab tests are recommended to assess the baby`s condition.
What Can You Give Babies for Sore Throats?
First of all, we should make things clear that these tips can be applied depending on the age of your child and the opinion of your doctor, who should evaluate the health condition of the little one and supervise the evolution of the illness. Some remedies are good for infants, while other ones are only for older children.
Surely, in case of a tonsillitis or of a weak general condition, you`ll only have to follow the doctor`s advice.
Offer him a teaspoon of honey that will have to keep it in his mouth as long as possible, and then swallow it in a slowly manner. Honey is a very good disinfectant, but it`s not recommended before than baby is 1 year old.
Read more on How Do You Get Rid Of Colic In Babies?
This is a great healing and antiseptic agent. It can be found under the form of dry plant used for tea or hydroalcoholic extract. It`s available as a spray as well, being suitable for local spraying.
This is very popular for its antibacterial and antiviral effects. You can use various drops based on propolis and you can give your little one even a natural propolis bile for him to suck it. Obviously, it`s best if you`ll test before him propolis to see if your baby has any allergies to various apicultural products. Your child needs to be at least 3 years old.
Limonade or Warm Tea with Honey & Lemon
It`s a great remedy for sore throat. Vitamin C helps the body fight the illness more efficiently. Hot tea isn`t recommended for sore throat; it can even aggravate the signs of the disease.
Cataplasma with Cabbage Leaves
Although the scientific explanation escapes us, cabbage leaf cataplasm was proven to be quite efficient for sore throat treatment. Remove the leaves of the cabbage, put them in a gauze and crush them using a hammer. Tie them to the little one`s throat with a scarf, and wait to be surprised of its great healing effects.
Cataplasma with Potatoes
We don`t really know how or why it works, but they`ve been tested and they are quite efficient. Wash the potatoes, take their peel off and cut them in thin slices. Sprinkle them with diluted vinegar, put them in a gauze and tie them to the baby`s neck using a scarf. It`s preferred to leave them overnight.
Sucking on Hard Candy
You may be surprised, but sucking on throat lozenges or hard candy makes wonders. Use this remedy only for children over 4 years old.
Liquids, Rest & Drugs for Viral Infections
Most inflammation occur due to viral infections, like cold or flu, the last one showing more serious signs, like muscle aches or high fever.
If the sore throat is caused by a virus, antibiotics won`t probably help. Treatments when it comes to viral infections are classical: enough rest, many liquids. If the baby experiences an altered condition or fever, he should receive paracetamol, ibuprofen or algocalmin.
Physical maneuvers used to reduce fever are good to be associated with antithermal medications. Here`re a few examples and rules of administration:
- Paracetamol is recommended even from birth.
- Ibuprofen: the little one needs to be at least 3 months and a weight of at least 6 kg.
- Metamozile sodium: the child has to have 8 months and a weight of at least 8 kg. However, it`s preferable to use this more rarely, if the baby experiences fever over 39° C.
The doses of these medications should be calculated depending on the baby`s age and weight. The interval between the doses of the same medication is best to be at least 6 to 8 hours. If the little one`s fever appears sooner than 6 hours, another medication can be associated with a different active substance, the most common association being ibuprofen with paracetamol.
You could also try adding a humidifier in your baby`s room. Warm air will generally may easy a sore throat and improve breathing.
Should you use cold medicine if the little one still feels discomfort? There isn`t much evidence that drugs work, but according to the AAP, if you still decide to try a medication sold as a remedy for cold, don`t give it to the little one if he`s under 6 years old.
Lots of over-the-counter cold drugs include more than one single ingredient, and the little one might not need some of them. Some of these drugs might include pain relievers as well. You should read the medication`s labels as careful as possible, or you might give your little one more medicine than he needs.
Talk to your doctor or at least your pharmacist first if you have doubts about any drugs for your baby. Read carefully the labels before offering any OTC cold drugs to your child.