A pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (found in Tylenol, Tempra, and other medications), helps to control fever and ease the pain of a sore throat, as well as any other accompanying aches and pains.
Do not give aspirin to a child or
teenager with a sore throat unless your doctor specifically recommends it.
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, and the combination of a viral infection
and aspirin has been associated with Reye's syndrome, a dangerous liver disease.
Chloraseptic, available in lozenge or spray form, is an oral anesthetic and antiseptic that can help relieve the pain of a sore throat. Follow the directions on the product label.
An ice-cold fruit-juice popsicle can be an effective temporary anesthetic for a sore throat.
Encourage your child to take plenty of fluids. Warm miso soup and chicken soup are excellent.
Reduce the amount of sugar, refined carbohydrates, and dairy products in your child's diet.
Encourage your child to eat lots of simple whole grains, fresh vegetables, and fruits.
For age-appropriate dosages of some nutritional supplements, see Dosage Guidelines for Nutritional Supplements and Herbs.
Vitamin C is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Dissolve 1 teaspoon (1,000 milligrams) of buffered vitamin-C powder in 8 ounces of water. Have your child sip this throughout the day, for the first forty-eight hours of a sore throat.
Herbal-based, sugar-free lozenges fortified with vitamin C or zinc, a mineral that speeds healing, are very helpful. Give your child one lozenge every hour, as needed, up to a total equivalent to two doses of zinc daily, for up to one week.
Note: Excessive amounts of zinc can result in nausea and vomiting. Be careful not to exceed the recommended dosage.
Bioflavonoids help to ease inflammation in the throat and fight infection. Give your child one dose, three or four times a day, for the first three to four days.
Give your child one dose of beta-carotene, twice a day, for the first forty-eight hours.
Strep Infection Versus Viral Infection
|Although not all viral or strep infections cause identical symptons, there are some general tendencies to look for when your child has a sore throat. Review the following symptons to see which match your child's condition. If you suspect a strep throat infection, contact your child's doctor. Only a throat culture can accurately confirm a diagnosis of strep.
||Most common in children over three years of age.
||Possibly at any age.
||Comes on suddenly. One minute, the child seems fine-the next, tired, listless, and complaining.
||Comes on gradually, escalating from a mild scratchiness to a full-fledge sore throat.
||A very painful sore throat, often accompanied by headache, stomach pain, vomiting, and/or tender or very firm lymph nodes. There can be much difficulty swallowing. The child will look and feel very sick.
|| A sore, thick, or scratchy-feeling throat that may be accompanied by cough, headache, runny nose, some difficult swallowing, and/or conjunctivitis.
||A temperature that escalates to as much as 104oF is possible.
||Mild to moderate fever.
||Most likely red and swollen with white splotches.
||May or may not be swollen; may or may not have a white coating.