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Tonsillitis in Children

by Paresh Bramhane

Tonsils are two oval-shaped pads located at the backside of your throat, each at one side. The inflammation of the tonsils is known as tonsillitis. It is a common reason for illness among children, mostly those of school-going age. 

Mostly it occurs due to a viral infection. But it can also occur due to bacterial invasion. If it occurs due to a bacteria, your healthcare provider will prescribe you antibiotics along with symptomatic relief treatment. When your child has a complaint of recurrent throat infection, you should take them to a child specialist in Lahore. 

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is most common among teens and children who are schoolgoing. It happens because many pupils spend time in a close environment together. Therefore the infection can be transmitted from one to another. The signs and symptoms of tonsillitis are;

  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • White or yellow coating or patches on the tonsils
  • Sore throat
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Neck pain or stiff neck
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Enlarged, tender glands (lymph nodes) in the neck
  • A scratchy, muffled, or throaty voice
  • Bad breath
  • Stomachache

In infants who cannot complain may have;

  • Unusual crying 
  • Excess drooling 
  • Painful swallowing
  • Refusal to eat
  • Vomiting due to pain in throat and inflammation

What Causes Tonsillitis?

Most commonly, viruses are the causative agent for tonsillitis. However, it can also occur due to bacteria. The most common bacteria that can cause tonsillitis is Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus)- which causes strep throat. If tonsillitis occurs due to this bacterium, it should be treated properly. Strep throat, if left untreated, can lead to rheumatic fever. 

What Are the Risk Factors for Tonsillitis?

The risk factors for tonsillitis can be;

  • Aged between 5 to 15
  • School-aged children who spend long hours in a closed environment together

What Are the Complications of Tonsillitis?

You must take your child to a healthcare provider if they have any signs and symptoms of tonsillitis. Generally, they do not pose any serious health risks. But if they remain untreated, it can lead to life-threatening conditions such as rheumatic fever. The other complications of tonsillitis are;

  • Obstructive sleep apnea- a condition in which you have difficulty breathing while asleep
  • Tonsillar cellulitis- a condition in which infection spreads to other surrounding tissue from tonsils
  • Peritonsillar abscess- a condition in which pus accumulates behind the tonsils due to the infection

How Can Tonsillitis Be Prevented?

To prevent tonsillitis, ask your child to follow instructions, such as;

  • Wash their hands with soap after using the toilet and before eating anything
  • Do not share food, utensils, drinks, and glasses with anyone else
  • Change toothbrush after recovering from tonsillitis infection
  • Cough or sneeze in a tissue paper and throw it away in the dustbin right away

Moreover, when your child is ill, keep them at home. Avoid their exposure with other people to prevent the spread of infections. 

What is the Treatment for Tonsillitis?

The healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics if tonsillitis occurs due to bacterial infection. They may also prescribe an over-the-counter pain reliever to get rid of pain and fever. Drinking hot beverages can also help in controlling the painful symptoms of tonsillitis. 

Conclusion 

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of tonsil glands that are located at the back of your throat. When you have a repeated complaint of tonsillitis, the healthcare provider may advise you to remove it through surgery. If your child has a complaint of recurrent tonsillitis, you must take them to a child specialist in Islamabad. 

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