Pharyngitis is an infection of the pharynx and/or tonsils and is very common in children. It is usually caused by the Streptococcus virus and is therefore commonly referred to as “strep throat.”
It is typically accompanied by pain, making it hard for the child to eat, drink, or swallow. A fever may also be present. Other signs are red, swollen, or irritated tonsils (in the upper left and right of the back of the throat), a yellow or white coating on the tonsils, swollen glands in the upper neck, and bad breath.
To confirm the presence of the streptococcus virus, the doctor will swipe the back of the throat with a cotton-tipped swab. If the strep bacteria is found, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If infections are frequent or the tonsils get so large as to obstruct the child’s airway, the doctor may discuss the necessity of surgery to remove the tonsils.