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What treatment is needed for a sore throat?

Viral sore throat

Pain relief is important; easing the discomfort will help your child eat and drink. You can relieve pain in the following ways:
  • give paracetamol (you must follow the dosage instructions on the bottle; it is dangerous to give more than the recommended dose)
  • gargle with warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt per glass of water)
  • throat sprays can help but stop using them if your child doesn’t like them
  • sucking on lozenges can help by increasing saliva production but they are not recommended in young children because of the risk of choking
  • drink warm liquids - honey or lemon is a common way of providing relief
  • cool liquids and ice blocks can help some sore throats

Infections caused by viruses can not be treated with antibiotics. The body will clear out the virus on its own without treatment

If your child has glandular fever (Epstein Barr virus), they should not take antibiotics because antibiotics don't work gainst viral infections. In fact, some types of antibiotics, especially amoxycillin, can cause a rash in children with glandular fever.

Strep throat
  • antibiotics are especially recommended for strep throat to prevent rheumatic fever in at-risk children - Maori and Pacific Island children
  • make sure your child takes all the doses even if their symptoms have improved
  • pain relief is also important
  • children can return to school or day care 24 hours after they start antibiotics as the risk of spreading the strep is reduced

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