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Tonsil infection diagnosis and treatment for children and when does it need surgery by Dr. Medhat Abu-Shaaban, Pediatrician at myPediaclinic in Dubai

Dr. Medhat Abu-Shaaban, medical director and pediatrician behind myPediaclinic (voted best pediatric clinic in Dubai) discusses common health questions related to tonsils in the following post and interview.

What is a tonsil infection?

A tonsil infection is associated with a variety of different symptoms, including swollen red tonsils, fever, headache and stomach pain. If the child is suffering from any of the mentioned symptoms, then he/she should be checked by a pediatrician.

What age are tonsil infections most common?

Tonsil infections are most common for children whose ages are between 2 and 5 years.

How does the pediatrician decide if an antibiotic is needed?
The pediatrician can diagnose tonsil infections using a throat swab that detects if the infection is due to a virus or a bacteria in just 2 minutes.

What is the treatment for tonsil infection?

If the cause of the tonsil infection is a bacteria, then the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. If however, the pediatrician rules out a bacterial infection, then the child could be suffering from a viral infection. In both cases, fever reducers, rest, and drinking plenty of fluids is recommended. At myPediaclinic, we perform the throat swab test, providing the results in minutes.The main purpose of this is to avoid prescribing unnecessary antibiotics for viral infections.

At what age is tonsil removal surgery recommended if needed? 

Tonsil removal surgery should not be done for a child below 2 years of age. However, it may be done as a last resort if the child gets more than 7 bacterial infections per year, or 5 bacterial infections 2 years in a row.

What can be done to avoid tonsil infections?

Good hygiene, including hand washing is always essential. Also, taking the flu vaccine and making sure the child gets a nutritionally complete diet will reduce the risk of tonsil infections.

What can be done about swollen tonsils without infection?

Swollen tonsils can affect the child’s swallowing and sleeping habits, which may also affect school performance and behavior. Warm drink can help soothe the pain.

Dr. Medhat Abu-Shaaban was interviewed by Al-Arabiya to raise awareness about the very important topic. You can watch the video by clicking on the link below.

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