As your toddlers cannot talk or can't talk clearly about what is hurting them, you will have to pay attention to some signs to know if your toddlers need help. Sore throat in toddlers is a common issue, but you may not always understand the reason why they are feeling so irritable. It is important for you to carefully observe them and detect the different behavior that indicates pain and illness. This will help you confirm that your toddlers require medical attention. Let's find out more about it. 

Signs and Symptoms of Toddler Sore Throat

While the symptoms may be quite subtle, you can certainly learn to identify them and determine if your toddler really needs medical help. However, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor if you are not sure about something. Some of the most common sore throat symptoms in toddlers are sneezing, loss of appetite, headache, nasal congestion, irritability, stomach pain, and swollen tonsils.

Causes of Toddler Sore Throat

It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you notice the common symptoms associated with a sore throat in toddlers. Not seeking timely help would make bacterial infections worse, so do not ignore those common symptoms. While bacterial infections can lead to a sore throat, there can be some other causes as well.

Viral Infections

Your toddler's sore throat could be due to a viral infection. They may also have severe pain along with high fever. It is not possible to treat these infections with antibiotics.


Your toddler's sore throat could be the result of common colds. There will be other symptoms as well, but soreness in the throat is usually the outcome of coughing and post-nasal drip.

Strep Throat

Caused by strep bacteria, this bacterial infection responds well to antibiotics. Your toddler will be seriously irritated because of all the discomfort, so be sure to seek immediately medical attention.


Sore throat in Toddlers may be due to allergies. Keep in mind that allergies usually do not result in sudden painful sore throats – they are more likely to cause chronic irritation of the throat.

Streptococcus and Whooping Cough Bacteria

Streptococcus is actually the most common bacteria, but interestingly, it is not usually found in babies and toddlers. If present, it can cause several complications, including a sore throat. Whooping cough bacteria can also cause a sore throat.

Irritants in the Air

Your toddler will get a sore throat if there are irritants in the air. Some common examples of these irritants include secondhand smoke, cat/dog danger, dust, and trees/grass pollen. Exposure to these irritants can trigger an allergic reaction.

Dry Heat

This could be another possible cause of sore throat in toddlers, especially when they sleep with their mouth open. The mouth gets dry when they sleep with mouth open.

Various Conditions

Toddlers can get sore throats because of croup, virus, cold, chickenpox, and measles. Sometimes, your toddler can develop tonsillitis, which means that they have a viral or bacterial infection that is affecting the bumpy tissue right at the back of the throat.

Treatments of Toddler Sore Throat

Whatever the underlying cause, you should not ignore any signs suggesting that your baby is in pain. Seeking medical attention is important but you can take other steps as well to help resolve the issue.

Install a Humidifier

It is a good idea to add some moisture to the air to make breathing easier for your little angel. Dry air can irritate the throat and make it difficult for your baby to swallow. You can also consider adding a few drops of essential oils, such as sage, eucalyptus, or thyme to make things even better.

Cool Down

It may help soothe the throat. You can simply give your toddler some frozen breast milk or opt for formula Popsicle to relieve the throat. Ensure that you let your baby suck on the Popsicle under your supervision. This helps prevent choking. Doing this will also help keep your baby hydrated.

Pay Attention to Hydration

When your baby has a sore throat due to a bacterial or viral infection, it is important to take steps to keep them hydrated. Give them as much breast milk as they want, as sucking from the breast helps keep the back of the throat moist. This in turn soothes an irritated throat. You can also give them cool liquids to alleviate the discomfort. 

Make Use of Pain Relievers

Pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen may help reduce the discomfort, but be sure to talk to your doctor before giving any pain reliever to your toddler. It is also important to never exceed the recommended dosage.

Salt Water Gargle

If your child is old enough to gargle, you can prepare a saline solution at home to help treat the issue. Simply add a teaspoon of salt to 8 oz. of water and ask your child to gargle with it for pain relief.


If your child is under two years of age, you should avoid giving them an OTC drug for sore throat. Be sure to wash your hands regularly if your child has a viral infection, as it is usually highly contagious.


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