How should I care for my child if he or she has a sore throat or strep throat?

  • Give your child all medication as instructed by the doctor.
  • Give your child acetaminophen for fever. Do not give your child aspirin.
  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids.
  • Give your child soft or cold foods (like pudding and milkshakes), which may help ease throat pain.
  • Give children over eight years of age warm salt water to gargle (with ¼ teaspoon of salt per glass of water).
  • Give your child throat lozenges or hard candy to suck on (if he or she is older than 4 years of age).

Call the doctor if your child has:

  • A fever after taking antibiotics for two days
  • Increased throat pain
  • Earache
  • A hard time breathing
  • Skin rash
  • Excessive drooling
  • Cough
  • Severe headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dark urine, rash, or chest pain (may occur three to four weeks later)
  • A sore throat that lasts longer than four days

Questions to ask your child’s doctor about sore throat:

  • Should I give my child medication? If so, for how long and how often?
  • How should I store the medication? Should I refrigerate it?
  • When will my child start to feel better?
  • Should I keep my child home from school or daycare?
  • Should he or she be limited from certain activities? If so, which ones?
  • Are there certain foods or liquids he or she should have, or avoid?
  • Which over-the-counter pain relievers do you recommend?
  • Which symptoms should I report to you or your office?

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