Child Specialist & Neonatologist

Sore Throat

Sore throats are a very common illness in infants and children. They tend to be more common during winter months. An older child will complain of a sore throat but a younger child or infant may refuse to eat or drink or cry during feeding. If you look at the throat it may appear bright red. Sometimes a child with a sore throat can also have a fever and vomiting.

What causes a sore throat?

It is usually caused by infection with viruses and less often bacteria.In younger children (less than two years old), throat infections are usually viral in origin. Antibiotics do not help viral infections.

What to do?

Pain relief is important as reducing pain can encourage your child to eat and drink. Give pain relief such as
Paracetamol (“Panadol”) or Ibuprofen (“Brufen”) using the dose recommended on the bottle.
Your child may find swallowing difficult. Encouraging your child to drink fluids is very important. They may wish to drink smaller amount of fluids and should be offered drinks more often than usual. Warm fluids and soft foods may be easier for your child to swallow.
Throat sprays or throat lozenges are not recommended.


  • Give pain relief as required.
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids.
  • Seek medical attention if the symptoms persist for more than 48hours or your child develops other symptoms.