Sore throats are common in both children and adults. If your child has a severe sore throat, especially with fever, headache or stomach ache and no cold symptoms, they might have strep throat and should be seen by their doctor as that requires antibiotics to treat. In fact, if your child has a sore throat with no other symptoms, it’s a good idea to have them checked. There are other specific illnesses that can cause sore throat that may need treatment.

Most commonly, sore throats come as part of a cold, with cough, runny or stuffy nose, fever, etc. If this is what is going on, often you can treat your child for comfort at home. For a sore throat, acetominephen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) can help with pain. Warm salt water gargles (1/2 tsp salt to 8 oz. warm water) can be soothing if your child is old enough to gargle. For older children, you can use Chloraseptic throat spray or melt strips or the Sucrets or Cepacol numbing throat lozenges. Cold things feel good on a sore throat, so freezer pops, popsicles, frozen fruit bars, fruit smoothies, ice cream or milkshakes can help.