The goal of home treatment of
tonsillitis caused by a virus is to manage symptoms as
the body fights off the infection. It includes measures to ease the discomfort
of sore throat and coldlike symptoms, such as runny nose, nasal congestion,
sneezing, and coughing.
Things that may help you or your child
feel better include:
- Gargling with warm salt water [ salt to
several times a day.
- Drinking warm or cool liquids (whichever feels
better). These include tea, soup, juice, and
- Eating frozen desserts
such as Popsicles.
- Taking nonprescription pain medicines (such as
acetaminophen) that can help relieve sore throat pain. Pain relievers should
only be used for children older than 6 months. Do not give aspirin to anyone
younger than 20 years of age because of its link to
- Getting plenty of
- Using a
vaporizer or humidifier in the
- Using throat lozenges to help relieve sore throat
symptoms. But lozenges should not be given to young children because of the
risk of choking. Also, many lozenges contain unnecessary ingredients that can
be potentially harmful.
Don't give cough and cold medicines to your young child
unless you've checked with the doctor first. They can be harmful to children.
Experts say not to give them to children younger than 2. Antiseptic
antihistamines have not been proved effective for
tonsillitis and may result in harmful side effects.2
A sore throat along with sudden fever and
swollen lymph nodes, and without symptoms of an
upper respiratory tract infection, may point to a
bacterial infection. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor to be
strep throat, which requires treatment with
antibiotics. It is important to get plenty of rest and take all the prescribed
antibiotics exactly as directed. Keep your child home from school for the first
1 to 2 days of antibiotic treatment. He or she is still contagious during this
time and might pass the infection to others.
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