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 a sore throat do not need antibiotics. That's because research has shown that antibiotics make very little difference to how quickly your child gets better. 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.