When our little ones aren’t feeling their best, sometimes it’s hard for them to communicate exactly what’s causing them discomfort. Although a sore throat or fever may seem like signs of a cold, it’s important for parents to know and recognize the signs to look for and ask their children about that could mean something more. This month, Aria Health is encouraging parents to take charge of their children’s ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat) health and know the signs and symptoms of common ENT ailments such as ear infections, strep throat and tonsillitis.
Patrice Bachmann, a nurse practitioner at Aria Health FastCare, has provided a sampling of tips below to help your readers recognize the signs of common ENT illnesses that may require further medical attention:
A sore throat that won’t quit
Viral infections are the cause of 80% of sore throats in children unless they have been exposed to others with a bacterial infection. A common indication of a viral infection is a sore throat that lasts longer than 48 hours along with additional symptoms like a rash, runny nose, cough and/or swollen lymph nodes. Bacterial sore throats come on quickly (typically in less than 12 hours) and are accompanied by fevers, headaches or abdominal pain. A simple rapid strep test can determine if your child’s sore throat has evolved into something more.
Long-lasting ear pain
If your child is complaining of ear pain, monitor the time frame of their symptoms along with the severity of the pain and promptly seek medical attention if the pain persists. Severe ear pain lasting more than 24 hours is a strong indication of a middle-ear infection. Ear infection symptoms typically develop quickly and should be treated immediately.
Tonsils in trouble
When a sore throat is present, important symptoms to look for are extreme fatigue and pain when swallowing. A quick check of your child’s throat with a flashlight can also confirm the appearance of red or swollen tonsils or white patches on the tonsils; these can both indicate tonsillitis and should prompt a trip to your doctor.
If you are concerned that your child may have come down with one of these illnesses, a trip to Aria Health FastCare can help you be sure. With locations in Northeast Philadelphia or Levittown, PA, Aria Health FastCare is available to see your child (ages 18 months and older) with no appointment necessary and without the wait. If you are not conveniently located to Aria Health FastCare, It’s always a good idea to head into a medical facility (Aria’s Frankford campus is a perfect example of that).