In case of throat infection in the baby the pediatrician may indicate the use of medication for the throat such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, and in some cases, antibiotics like Amoxicillin.
However, parents can help with the treatment by following some simple homemade measures such as bathing the baby with warm water to fluidize the secretions and give them orange juice, which is rich in vitamin C, to boost the body's defenses.
A sore throat is usually caused by a virus due to an influenza, and in healthy children, this condition persists for 5 to 7 days.
Symptoms of a sore throat in babies
A baby with a sore throat usually refuses to eat or drink, cries when he swallows or eats and has secretions or a cough.
In babies under the age of 1 there may also be:
- Restlessness, easy crying, refusal in eating, vomiting, changes in sleep pattern, and difficulty breathing due to catarrh in the nose.
In older children:
- For children older than a year of age, it is easier to identify a sore throat, as they often complain of pain in the throat or neck when they swallow, drink or eat something. Other symptoms that may be present are: headache, pain all over the body, chills, catarrh, and redness of the throat and inside the ears, fever, nausea, stomach pain and pus in the throat. Certain viruses can also cause diarrhea.
What to do to treat sore throat in babies
To cure a baby's sore throat, some home measures that may help relieve the pain and throat inflammation include:
1. General cautions
- Give the baby a warm bath, closing the door and bathroom window: this way the baby can inhale the water vapor which may help fluidize secretions and help to clear the throat;
- Wash the child's nose with saline, if there are secretions: this will help to remove secretions from the throat, helping to clear it;
- Do not let the child walk barefoot and wrap them before leaving the house: the sudden difference in temperature can make the sore throat worse;
- Stay with the baby or child at home if there is a fever: do not take the baby to day care or child to school until the fever passes. See what to do to lower a baby's fever.
- Wash your hands often and their's to avoid contaminating others.
2. When to give them medication
The medication for sore throats should only be used under the advice of a pediatrician. This is because not all diseases caused by viruses need medication, normally the body reacts and fights back and within 7 days the symptoms start to improve. However, your pediatrician may prescribe:
- Painkillers, such as Paracetamol in the form of syrup;
- Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or Acetominofeno in the form of syrup;
- Nasal decongestant like Neosor or Sorine infant, in the form of drops or spray for older children.
Antibiotics are not recommended if the infection is not caused by bacteria. Cough medication and antihistamines are also not advised because they are not effective in young children and have side effects.
The flu vaccine is particularly indicated for children who have asthma, chronic cardiopulmonary disease, kidney disease, are HIV positive and in children who need to take aspirin daily. If your child is healthy, talk to your pediatrician first.
3. Cautions with their diet
- Give soft foods to the baby is he is older than 6 months old: because they are easier to swallow, reducing discomfort and the pain caused by the sore throat. Examples of foods: warm soup or broths, fruit puree or yogurts;
- Give lots of water, teas or natural juices to the baby:it helps to fluidize the secretions and clear the throat. See best home remedies for a sore throat.
- Avoid giving foods that are too hot or cold to your child: foods that are too hot or cold may make sore throats worse;
- Give orange juice to the baby: orange has vitamin C, which increases the body's defenses;
- Give honey to the child if he is over 1 year of age: as it can help to hydrate the throat, relieving the discomfort.
Sore throats usually go away in a week, but if your child takes the medication prescribed by his pediatrician and these home remedies are done, they may feel better in about 3 to 4 days.
Signs that indicate you have to return to the pediatrician
After the baby or child has been seen by the pediatrician, treatment should be started as soon as possible. However, it is recommended you return to your pediatrician if you notice the following symptoms: Difficulty breathing, high fever, tiredness and frequent drowsiness, pus in the throat, complaints of ear pain or persistent cough for more than 10 days.