Tonsillitis usually goes away on its own, without treatment, within two weeks. Your child’s doctor will prescribe antibiotics only if your child’s tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection (antibiotics cannot treat a virus). If your doctor does prescribe antibiotics, be sure your child finishes the entire dose as prescribed. To help ease your child’s sore throat, have him or her:
• Gargle with warm salt water
Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen to lower fever – never give aspirin to a child, as it can cause a serious condition called Reye syndrome
Children who have frequent bouts of tonsillitis that interfere with daily functioning may require surgery to remove the tonsils. This simple procedure is typically performed in an outpatient surgery center and your child will go home a few hours after the procedure. Complete recovery takes about 1 to 2 weeks.
Although tonsillectomy is still the most common surgery among children, it is not done as often as it was in the past because children usually outgrow tonsillitis. That is, it occurs less frequently as children get older. Your pediatrician can help you decide whether your child truly needs a tonsillectomy.
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