sore throats

Sore throats in children

It is cold out there and it seems like every second person has some sort of dose and that includes children. We have a lot of people coming to the pharmacy with sore throats. Children tend to get more sore throats than adults. Many children with a viral infection will complain of a sore throat and will in fact have 2-3 sore throats every year.In fact on average most children will get 6-7 viral infections every year. Viral infections are usually self-limiting and will resolve themselves within 5-7 days.  While it can be distressing for the child, 9 out of 10 children will have fully recovered within a week without having to see a doctor.  If the sore throat lasts longer than a week then you should bring your child to their GP as it may mean they have a bacterial infection such as strep throat and may need antibiotics. In the meantime it is advisable to keep your child well hydrated and there are over the counter solutions if the sore throat is painful.

Over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can relieve pain associated with a sore throat. Always check with your pharmacist or GP before using ibuprofen if your child is asthmatic. Older children can also be given lozenges or a throat spray. Avoid giving your child hot drinks or hot food as this can further irritate the throat. You may find giving them ice pops to suck or ice-cream may give them some relief. While it is best to avoid very hot drinks you could make up a warm drink with honey and lemon that can lubricate the throat. If you are worried about your child bring them into your pharmacy and a pharmacist can check you are doing the right things and advice you when it is best to book an appointment with your GP.