Terms such as strep throat, tonsillitis and sore throat are usually used interchangeably. However, they do not have the same meaning. Tonsillitis refers to inflammation of the tonsils. Strep throat is an infection due to a certain kind of bacteria named Streptococcus. If a child has strep throat, usually the tonsils are inflamed. The inflammation can affect the area around the throat also.
Other causes that will result to sore throats include viruses. These will only lead to inflammation of the throat surrounding the tonsils but the tonsils are not affected. The most frequent cause of sore throats among toddlers, pre-schoolers and infants is viral infection. When a virus is responsible for the condition, it will not be necessary to administer a certain medication.
The child will ultimately get better within seven to ten days. Typically, children who are suffering from sore throats because of viruses are also suffering from colds simultaneously. Mild fever can also develop but in general, they are not extremely sick. A certain virus called Coxsackie which is frequently observed during summer and fall seasons can make the child develop high-grade fever, swallowing becomes more difficult and they will have a sicker overall feeling.
If the child has Coxsakie infection, one or more blisters will be present in his throat as well as on his hands and feet. This condition is often termed as Hand. Foot and Mouth disease. A condition called infectious mononucleosis will result to sore throat along with marked tonsillitis. However, a lot of young kids who have mononucleosis virus present only a few symptoms or none at all.
Strep throat is due to a bacterium termed as Streptococcus pyogenes. To some point, it is the child’s age that will determine the symptoms of strep throat. Infants suffering from strep infections can only have low-grade fever and nasal discharges which are thickened or bloody. Toddlers with ages one to three will also experience bloody or thickened discharges from the nose along with fever. These kids are usually quite irritable, no appetite for food and the glands in their necks are swollen.
At times, the toddlers will complain of painful stomach rather than a sore throat. Children who are more than three years old and have strep become very sick. There fever will be higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.9 degrees Celsius, their throats are extremely painful, pus is present in their tonsils and the glands in their necks are swollen. It is extremely important to make a distinction between a strep throat from a viral sore throat because strep infections are best treated with antibiotics.