Sore throats are common at any age and can be one of the first signs of another illness, like a cold, the flu, or mononucleosis (mono). They also can be caused by a strep throat infection, although this is rare in children younger than 2 years old. Signs and Symptoms painful throat fever swollen glands in the neck bad breath scratchiness in the throat redness in the back of the mouth What to Do Here are some ways kids can relieve sore throat pain: sip warm liquids eat cold or frozen liquids (such as ice pops) gargle with saltwater suck on hard candy or throat lozenges (for kids age 4 or older) take ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed Get Medical Care if Your Child: has trouble swallowing isn't drinking liquids is drooling (in a young child) feels very tired has pus in the back of the throat has a sore throat that lasts longer than a few days Think Prevention! As with most common illnesses, preventing a sore throat starts with regular hand washing. Kids also can avoid sore throats by: not sharing food utensils and glasses with others avoiding contact with people who have sore throats or cold symptoms Back to Articles Related Articles Strep Throat Strep throat is a common cause of sore throat in kids and teens. It usually requires treatment with antibiotics, but improves in a few days. Read More Strep Throat Strep throat is a common infection that usually needs to be treated with antibiotics. Find out how to recognize the signs of strep throat and what to expect if you have it. Read More A to Z Symptom: Sore Throat A sore throat can be caused by many things, from viral and bacterial infections to seasonal allergies and gastroesophageal reflux. Read More Coughing Coughs are a common symptom, but most aren't a sign of a serious condition. Learn about different coughs, how to help your child feel better, and when to call your doctor. Read More Getting a Strep Test (Video) The test for strep throat doesn't hurt, but it might make you gag a little. Watch how it's done in this video for kids. Read More Mononucleosis (Mono) Mononucleosis - or "mono" - is an infection that causes flu-like symptoms. It usually goes away on its own in a few weeks with the help of plenty of fluids and rest. Read More Strep Test (Video) This video shows what it's like to get a strep test. Read More Strep Test: Rapid A rapid strep test is done to help quickly determine whether a sore throat is caused by a strep infection vs. other germs (usually viruses) that don't require antibiotic treatment. Read More Strep Test: Throat Culture Is your child having a strep test or a throat culture? Find out how these swab tests are performed. Read More Flu Center Get the basics on how flu spreads and how to protect yourself. Read More Flu Center Learn all about protecting your family from the flu and what to do if your child gets flu-like symptoms. Read More Flu Center The flu can make you sick for a week or more. Find out how to get protected from the influenza virus. Read More The Flu: Stop the Spread Follow these tips to help prevent the spread of the flu. Read More What Is "PANS"? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More A to Z: Hypertrophy, Tonsillar (Enlarged Tonsils) Tonsillar hypertrophy, or enlarged tonsils, can happen due to an ongoing (chronic) condition or a temporary effect of an infection. Read More Mononucleosis (Mono) It's sometimes called "the kissing disease," but kissing is just one of the ways that someone can catch mono. Read More Tonsillitis Tonsillitis is an infection that makes tonsils swollen and red. It can cause a sore throat, fever, swollen glands, and trouble swallowing. Read More Tonsillitis If your tonsils get infected, it can make your throat feel very sore. Find out more in this article for kids. Read More Tonsillitis You wake up and your throat is swollen and you have a fever. Could it be tonsillitis? Find out what tonsillitis is, how to treat it, and how to prevent it. Read More Tonsillectomy A tonsillectomy is surgery to remove the tonsils. It's one of the most common surgeries kids and teens get. Find out more. Read More Tonsillectomy Everybody's heard of tonsils, but not everyone knows what tonsils do in the body or why they may need to be removed. Find out here. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.