Sore throat

If your child has a sore throat, she may find it painful to swallow and may eat and drink less. She may drool more or have a hoarse voice. So long as she is able to breathe easily, it’s not serious.

In children 2 years and under, sore throat is usually caused by viruses (cold and flu viruses, for example). In this case, antibiotics are not effective, but there are several things you can do to make your child more comfortable.

What to do?

Make sure she drinks plenty of liquids. It may be easier for her to drink with a straw or sippy cup when she has a sore throat. She may also prefer to eat cold foods.

If your child appears to have a sore throat, acetaminophen may provide her some relief. Or ibuprofen may be given if she’s over 6 months.

Consult your doctor if she has trouble breathing or swallowing.

Good to know...

Don’t give cough drops to children under 5 because they can choke.

Don’t give honey to children under 1 year. They can catch a very serious infection called botulism (see Honey—never for babies under age 1).