Who in his life has not suffered from a sore throat? The throat diseases they are very frequent, especially in children (2 to 7 years) and sore throat is a typical symptom of those diseases that affect that area. Among those most frequent diseases we can mention: tonsillitis and pharyngitis, produced by viral agents (more frequently) or by bacteria.
The throat is part of the digestive tract and lies posterior to the oral cavity. Through there, food passes into the esophagus and air passes into the trachea and larynx.
Most of the throat diseases in children They are mild, uncomplicated pathologies (except cancer) and are resolved with symptomatic or specific treatments depending on the disease. I am going to comment on the two most frequent pathologies observed in children.
Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, which are two masses of tissue that are found in the back of the mouth, just at the level of the throat and one on each side of it. They are composed of lymphatic tissue, which has the function of defending the organism from viral or bacterial infections and keeps the body fluids balanced.
Behind the tonsils are the adenoids that, like the tonsils, are the body's defense organs during childhood and disappear towards adulthood, which can also become inflamed (adenoiditis).
The most common cause of tonsillitis is viral symptoms, but it can also be caused by bacterial infections, with streptococcus pyogenes being the most common bacterium that causes tonsillitis. Streptococcal tonsillitis is quite contagious and can cause complications at the level of other organs such as the heart (endocarditis), joints (rheumatoid arthritis), kidneys (nephritis), for this reason it is important to diagnose it in time and indicate the appropriate antibiotic treatment.
The signs and symptoms of tonsillitis are:
- Sore throat moderate to severe (odynophagia).
- Difficulty to swallow (dysphagia).
- Swollen and red tonsils with yellowish-white plaques (pus) on the surface of them. This is a very characteristic sign of bacterial tonsillitis.
- Bad breath (halitosis).
- High fever.
- Swollen glands and painful in the neck (adenopathies).
The diagnosis must be made by the pediatrician with the physical examination and laboratory tests, especially a throat culture to rule out the presence of streptococcus in case of no improvement with symptomatic treatment. And there is a test called ASTO, which allows us to diagnose the presence of streptococcus at the blood level and be properly treated with antibiotics to avoid the complications mentioned above.
Treatment will depend on the causative agent, if it is viral it will only be treated asymptomatically (rest, plenty of fluids and analgesic-antipyretic type acetaminophen or paracetamol) and if it is bacterial, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatment will be indicated, which must be followed over time. indicated by the pediatrician to guarantee the eradication of the bacteria.
Pharyngitis is the inflammation of the back of the throat, between the tonsils and the pharynx and that is cause of severe sore throat in both children and adults. It can be caused by viruses such as parainfluenza, influenza, coxsackie, cytomegalovirus, epstein bar and, less frequently, by bacteria such as group A streptococcus.
According to the report, Acute pharyngotonsillitis, carried out by the Pediatric Service of the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and collected by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, 'viruses are responsible for the majority of AF in children under 3 years'.
The symptoms are similar to tonsillitis, because almost always the tonsils are also usually involved, therefore, the child may present:
- Sore throat (odynophagia).
- Pain to swallow (dysphagia).
- General discomfort.
- Rhinitis and / or urinorrhea (high respiratory symptoms).
Symptoms generally disappear in 3 to 5 days, but if they persist, a pediatrician should be consulted for proper diagnosis and treatment, which will be asymptomatic in the case of viral processes or with antibiotics if the cause is bacterial.
In the face of a sore throat, general malaise and fever in children, parents are hesitant about when to take their child to their pediatrician for further study. You should know that you should make an appointment with your doctor when the pain persists for more than two days in a row, if your child continues to have difficulty swallowing and, therefore, refuses any food and, very importantly, drools profusely.
It is also necessary to take the temperature from time to time and control a high temperature is not maintained for more than 72 hours and observe the child's mood. If he's down or weak, he's dangerous!
To avoid prevent this type of childhood diseases in the throat, I will recommend the following measures:
- Frequent hand washing, both for children and for us adults.
- Do not kiss the mouth of our children.
- Avoid offering a pacifier or pacifier or finger sucking.
- Wash toys frequently.
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