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Pharyngitis In Children, Ambulatory Care


is swelling or infection of the tissues and structures in your child's pharynx (throat). It is also called sore throat. Pharyngitis may be caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Pain during swallowing, or hoarseness
  • Cough, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes
  • A rash on his body
  • Fever and headache
  • Whitish-yellow patches on the back of his throat
  • Tender, swollen lumps on the sides of his neck
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain

Seek immediate care if your child has the following symptoms:

  • Increased weakness or tiredness
  • No urination in 12 hours
  • Stiff neck
  • Swelling or pain in his jaw area
  • Trouble breathing
  • Voice changes, or it is hard to understand his speech

Viral pharyngitis

will go away on its own without treatment.

Manage your child's symptoms:

  • 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.

Prevent the spread of germs:

Wash your hands and your child's hands often. Keep your child away from other people while he is sick. Do not let your child share food or drinks. Do not let your child share toys or pacifiers. Wash these items with soap and hot water. Ask when your child can return to school or daycare.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

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

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child. 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.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.