Medication Guide App

Pharyngitis In Children


Pharyngitis is swelling or infection of the tissues and structures in your child's pharynx (throat). It is also called sore throat.



  • Antibiotics help treat a bacterial infection.

  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.

Follow up with your child's PHP as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage your child's pharyngitis:

  • Have your child rest as much as possible.

  • Give your child plenty of liquids so he does not get dehydrated. Give him liquids that are easy to swallow and will soothe his throat.

  • Soothe your child's throat. If your child can gargle, give him ¼ of a teaspoon of salt mixed with 1 cup of warm water to gargle. If your child is 12 years or older, give him throat lozenges to help decrease his throat pain.

  • Use a cool mist humidifier to increase air moisture in your home. This may make it easier for your child to breathe and help decrease his cough.

Help prevent the spread of pharyngitis:

Wash your hands and your child's hands often. Keep your child away from other people while he is contagious. Ask your child's PHP how long your child is contagious. Do not let your child share food or drinks, especially while he is taking antibiotics. Do not let your child share toys or pacifiers. Wash these items with soap and hot water.

When to return to school or daycare:

If your child has started antibiotics, ask his PHP when he may return to school or daycare. If your child is not on antibiotics, his symptoms such as fever or sore throat may go away on their own. Your child may return to daycare or school when his symptoms go away.

Contact your child's PHP if:

  • Your child has throat pain, trouble swallowing, fever, or other symptoms that are not getting better or are getting worse.

  • Your child has a rash on his body. He may also have reddish cheeks and a red, swollen tongue.

  • Your child has new ear pain, headaches, or pain around his eyes.

  • Your child snores or pauses in his breathing when he sleeps.

  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child suddenly has trouble breathing or turns blue.

  • Your child has swelling or pain in his jaw area.

  • Your child has voice changes, or it is hard to understand his speech.

  • Your child has a stiff neck.

  • Your child has not urinated in 12 hours and is weak and tired.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Pharyngitis In Children (Aftercare Instructions)