Sore throat

Also: Strep throat

For the safety of your family, this information is intended for use by North Seattle Pediatrics patients exclusively.

Most sore throats in children are mild and are caused by viruses that last 3-7 days before resolving on their own. Comfort measures include cool liquids, bland foods, and appropriate doses of pain medication (ibuprofen or Tylenol).

More severe infections in children over 18 months can be caused by the Streptococcus bacteria (‘strep throat’). Clues that your child’s sore throat might be due to strep are sudden onset, headache and abdominal pain, fever, enlarged tonsils (which may be red or show white patches), red palate (roof of the mouth) and enlarged, tender lymph nodes on either side of the neck (‘swollen glands’). Typical cold symptoms such as runny nose or cough are often absent. Occasionally a fine red ‘sandpapery’-feeling rash may occur under the arms or in the groin.

Call the office during office hours if:

  • you suspect your child may have a sore throat due to strep. If laboratory tests indicate that a strep infection is present, an antibiotic is the appropriate treatment.