Sore throat is extremely common in children, teenagers and young adults and is often associated with a high temperature. Tonsils are small glands that sit either side of the throat and are sometimes affected (tonsillitis).
Symptoms of tonsillitis
These symptoms usually improve within 4-7 days.
Most cases of sore throat in young children (under 5 years of age) are caused by viral infections; your child may also have a runny nose, cough or earache. Tonsillitis can be caused by a number of different bacteria, but it is usually due to a group A streptococcus bacteria (strep throat).
If your child has any of the following:
Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999
Please ring your GP surgery or call NHS 111 - dial 111
If none of the above features are present
Continue providing your child’s care at home. If you are still concerned about your child, call NHS 111 – dial 111
Most children with tonsillitis/sore throat do no require treatment with antibiotics. Antibiotics rarely speed up recovery and often cause side effects such as rash and diarrhoea. They will also promote the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria in your child.
However, if your child has any features of severe infection (amber or red features above), they will need to be urgently seen by a healthcare professional who may decide that your child may benefit from antibiotic treatment.
You can help relieve symptoms by:
It is not always easy to avoid catching these infections. However, good hygiene practices can prevent infections spreading.
This guidance is written by healthcare professionals from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.