The happiness of a child is the pride of any parent. Children indeed liven the atmosphere of any house. The joy that they give is however often limited to their state of physical health. When common children infections such as strep throat and tonsils strike, then you know you have to rise to the occasion as a parent.
To begin easy, parents need to understand that the immune system of their children is not as developed as that of adults, and therefore any infection can be a fatal infection. It therefore behooves each parent to act with speed at the earliest signs of infection on their children. This article shall take a look at the common children infections of strep throat and tonsils with a view to enlighten parents on how to go about such illnesses.
What is strep throat?
Strep throat refers to an infection of the throat caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes. The infection is spread through exposure to someone carrying the bacteria, or by handling something a infected person has touched, coughed or sneezed on. The symptoms of strep throat vary according to the age of a child. While fever, sleeplessness and irritability are symptoms experienced by both babies and toddlers, babies experience further symptoms such as refusal to nurse or drink from a bottle as a sign that it is hard to swallow and a thin red rash on the torso, arms and occasionally the legs. On the other hand, the additional symptoms shown by toddlers include; general discomfort and complaints of not feeling well, loss of appetite or nausea due to a tummy ache, a thick or bloody nasal discharge and swollen neck glands.
What are tonsil stones?
Tonsil stones, also known as tonsilloliths refer to the white or yellow bumps growing out of the tonsils. Tonsil stones are formed as a result of bacterial or fungal activity on the different types of debris such as dead cells, mucus, saliva and food particles that get trapped in the tonsil pockets. The symptoms of tonsil stones include; earache, sore throat and the sensation of something caught up in the throat. Tonsil stones may also occur without symptoms at all.
Relationship between Strep throat and Tonsil stones
The bacteria that lives in the tonsil crevices may be difficult to get rid of by the casual oral hygiene most parents normally subject their children to. As a result, these bacteria may move up the throat and cause strep throat infection. As the strep throat causing bacteria attacks the throat, it greatly impairs the performance of a child’s throat as far as swallowing and breathing goes. While most tonsil stones are harmless, strep throat infections may be fatal if not checked with the urgency they deserve.
How to Manage Strep throat and Tonsil Problems
Many are the times when parents rush to call doctors as soon as they detect signs of strep throat or tonsil problems with their children. While that is occasionally a wise move, there are various steps a parent can take in order to manage the conditions before finally involving a doctor. The following are some of the suggestions for dealing with your child’s strep throat;
-Give your child a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen so as to ease the discomfort and reduce the fever. For babies younger than six months, ibuprofen is not recommended.
-You can also offer plenty of fluids and if your child is 12 months or older, chamomile tea and honey may come in handy in soothing the fever.
-Try to discourage your child from speaking in a harsh and loud voice as that may only serve to aggravate the pain.
-Lastly, you can also use a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s bedroom to help alleviate the throat pain.
For tonsil problems, the following are some of the home remedies;
-Gargling vigorously with salt water is proven to not only alleviate sore throat caused by the tonsil stones, but may also dislodge the stones altogether.
-Another way a parent can help a child deal with tonsil stones is by encouraging the child to cough in an energetic manner, as this has also been proven to dislodge the stones. However, this method should not be encouraged where the tonsil stones are accompanied by strep throat as it may aggravate the pain.
-The last method is manual removal by use of a cotton swab or clean finger..
As the very last resort, you may have to call a doctor. As a parent, you will use your best judgment to tell that the condition of your child is not improving. There are many clinical procedures for dealing with strep throat and tonsil problems. Administration of pain-relieving medication is the most common. In extreme cases, your child’s tonsil stones may have to be removed by a surgical procedure.