It may be hard to swallow the eye drops, so you may want to try holding your child’s head up while they try to swallow.
If this doesn’t work, your child may need to take the eye drops in their mouth. Children or adults can try:
- Sucking on a straw
- Sucking on a hard candy
- Holding the dropper upside down
If your child is able to swallow the eye drops, it may take some time for it to work. Try putting some water in the eye drops to help them dissolve.
If you or your child is having trouble taking the drops, try using a straw, hard candy, or a piece of gum to help them take the drops.
When to see a doctor?
If your child has a fever below 101.3 F (38 C) with a cough, runny nose, and sore throat, they should see a doctor. If the fever is accompanied by a rash or blisters, or if they have been vomiting or have diarrhea, they should see a doctor and get a rapid test done for strep throat.
If you think your child may have strep throat, you should call the doctor to make an appointment.
If your child has a sore throat that lasts more than two days, they should see a doctor. If they have any other symptoms, they should get a rapid strep test.
If your child has a sore throat and has had a cold, they should see a doctor and get a flu shot or anti-viral medication.
If they are older than 3 months, or are not able to swallow the drops, they should see a doctor.
Other possible causes
Other possible causes of a sore throat include:
- A viral infection, such as the flu
- A bacterial infection, such as strep throat
- A bacterial infection with a food allergy
- A reaction to an antibiotic
- A bacterial infection with a respiratory virus
- A skin infection
- A tooth infection
- A cold with other symptoms
- A common cold with other symptoms
- A stomach bug
- Ear infections
- A lung infection
- A throat infection
- A urinary tract infection
- A urinary tract infection with other symptoms
- Urinary tract infections
What to expect at your doctor’s appointment?
Depending on your child’s age, your doctor can do a physical exam to find out what is causing the sore throat. This can help your doctor make a diagnosis. Your child may have a cough and some other symptoms of a common cold.
Your doctor may also do a blood test to check for bacteria, viruses, and parasites. They may order a chest x-ray or a CT scan to look at the chest area.
If they are not able to find the cause of the sore throat, your doctor may do a throat culture test. This is a test to see what types of bacteria or viruses may be causing the sore throat.
If the doctor thinks the cause of the sore throat may be an allergy, they may do a skin prick test. This is a test to see if a person has an allergy to a particular substance.
There are many treatments that can help your child feel better. They include:
- Antibiotics: These are medications that kill the bacteria that cause a sore throat.
- Antihistamines: These help to reduce a person’s urge to sneeze, cough, or clear their throat.
- Decongestants: These can help to relieve a stuffy nose and cough. They may also help to relieve a sore throat.
- Cough suppressants: These can help to relieve a cough.
- Antibiotics for a cold: This helps a person with a cold to feel better.
- Tonsillitis: This is a condition that causes inflammation of the tonsils. A sore throat can sometimes occur with tonsillitis.
- Ear infections: These can cause a sore throat.
- Bronchitis: This is inflammation of the airways in the lungs. A sore throat can occur with bronchitis.
- Sinus infections: These are infections of the sinuses. A sore throat can occur with sinus infections.
- Flu: This is a virus that causes a fever, body aches, and chills. A sore throat can occur with the flu.
- Mumps: This is a virus that can cause swelling of the salivary glands. A sore throat can occur with mumps.
- Chickenpox: This is a virus that can cause a rash around the eyes, mouth, and nose. A sore throat can occur with chickenpox.
- Pneumonia: This is inflammation of the lungs. A sore throat can occur with pneumonia.
- Asthma: This is a chronic lung condition that causes shortness of breath. A sore throat can occur with asthma.
- Sinusitis: This is inflammation of the sinuses. A sore throat can occur with sinusitis.
- Tonsillitis: This is inflammation of the tonsils. A sore throat can occur with tonsillitis.
When to seek emergency care?
A sore throat may be a sign of a more serious condition. This includes a bacterial infection with a fever and other symptoms. This is a medical emergency.
A sick baby or toddler may also have a sore throat that does not go away. They need to see a doctor.
A sore throat that lasts longer than two days may also be a sign of a more serious condition. These include:
- Chronic sinusitis: This condition causes swelling of the sinuses.
- Bronchiolitis: This is inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
- Pneumonia: This is inflammation of the lungs.
- Asthma: This is a chronic lung condition that causes shortness of breath.
When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?
A sore throat that lasts for more than two days should be evaluated by a doctor.
A child who is old enough might go to the emergency room. Or, they may need outpatient treatment.
A sore throat is usually due to a viral infection. Viral infections tend to go away on their own.
However, it is important to see a doctor if the sore throat lasts for more than two days. They can help to identify the cause of the sore throat.
If your child’s sore throat does not improve, they should see a doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to prescribe the proper treatment
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