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Tonsil Trouble: Just Another Sore Throat?

Years ago, having your tonsils removed in childhood seemed almost as routine as frequent sore throats. While this is still common, many doctors now advise leaving the tonsils in place. Why? Michael Haupert, D.O., a pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist through Children’s Hospital of Michigan says, “Tonsils can play an important role in fighting infections.”

More Than a Sore Throat

A sore throat may warrant a call to your child’s doctor when it’s combined with any of the following signs: fever, chills, headache, loss of appetite or a general ill feeling. In younger children, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain also may occur. 

Michael Haupert, D.O.,
examines a patient

Help Your Child Get Better and Feel Better

You can make your child more comfortable:
  • Give plenty of fluids.
  • If eating is difficult, try changing the child’s diet to include more soft foods and liquids.
  • Use a non-aspirin pain reliever.
  • Let the child rest in bed or play quietly.
  • You can also help an older child gargle with warm salt water to help relieve throat pain.

When to Consider Surgery

If your child has had many bouts of tonsillitis, the physician may talk to you about removing the tonsils, a surgical procedure that can usually be performed on an outpatient basis.

Dr. Michael Haupert is at the Children’s Hospital
of Michigan’s Alex J. Etkin Specialty Center,
29120 Franklin Rd., Southfield, MI 48034

The editorial content of this online publication is taken from the print version of Safe & Sound published by Children's Hospital of Michigan.

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