Tonsillitis is infection of the tonsils. It will cause on most occasions a sore throat and fever. The most common bacteria that cause tonsillitis is streptococcus (strep-toe-KAH-kus). There are three types of tonsillitis: acute, sub acute and chronic.
Tonsils are an essential part of the immune system. They help protect your child’s nose, throat and sinuses by fighting germs. Even though tonsillitis is common in young children, young adults or mature people will also get it. Infection can be contracted through the air as well as from other people by way of touching, sneezing, and coughing.
Reddish and swollen tonsils; swollen throat
Tonsils will have white coloration or patches on them
Your child feels pain when swallowing food or drinking water
Fever; earache; body pain; ear pain; chills
Swollen areas on the neck
Lack of hunger and unwillingness to eat due to the pain in the throat
Vomiting; stomach pain
How to care for your child’s tonsillitis
1) Make your child get as much rest as possible. Do not smoke in the vicinity of the child, as smoke aggravates tonsillitis. Make your child do salt water gargling. Mix one-teaspoon salt in one cup of warm water.
2) If the pain does not subside, take your child to the doctor. He will prescribe painkillers and lozenges. If it is a bacterial infection, then antibiotics are prescribed. Penicillin is the most commonly used antibiotic, however erythromycin is used if the child develops allergic responses to penicillin formulations. Analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs will be prescribed to reduce the pain and swelling.
Always ask your doctor to take a throat culture to determine the cause of the infection. Even though experienced doctors will find out the cause from the symptoms, this method will also aid in the diagnosis. A throat culture is done by dabbing a piece of cotton on the infected tonsils and testing it in the laboratory.
3) For chronic cases, tonsillectomy (surgical removal of tonsils) will be the only way out. Children who have undergone tonsillectomy live happy and pain free lives. But tonsillectomy should be a last resort if the tonsils create an impediment in your child’s every day life.