Advice for parents and carers after contact with NHS 111
Sore throat is extremely common in children, teenagers and young adults and is often associated with a high temperature. Tonsils are the 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 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 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;
• Giving your child paracetamol or ibuprofen to help relieve pain
• Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids
• You can buy a throat spray from your pharmacist which may help with pain
It is not always easy to avoid catching these infections. However, good hygiene practices
can prevent infections spreading.
• Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
• Use a tissue when coughing or sneezing and put it in the bin
• Avoid sharing glasses or utensils with people who are unwell
This guidance is written by healthcare professionals from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.