Plaques in the throat of children: causes and therapy

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Plaques on the throat of children

Many times when i children have a sore throat and we go to the pediatrician, the specialist highlights the presence of plaques in the throat: what can they indicate and how are they treated?

In this article

  • Causes
  • How plaques appear in the throat in children
  • How Long Do Throat Plaques Last In Babies?
  • How to remove them?
  • When to worry


The main causes of plaque in the throat of children are viral or bacterial infections of the mucous lining of the pharynx. The most common infectious agents responsible for this manifestation are:

  • bacteria: mainly group A beta-haemolytic streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus.
  • virus: the Epstein-Barr virus, responsible for mononucleosis.

In some cases the plaques may be the expression of one mycosis in place, like candida.

How plaques appear in the throat in children

In most cases, the plates are clearly visible to the naked eye (just ask the child to open his mouth wide, say "aaaaa" and shed light with a small flashlight to see some yellowish-white pustules distributed in the back of the throat, on the tonsils, on the uvula and on the palate.

Often they are the most obvious expression of tonsillitis, that is, inflammation of the tonsils, or pharyngitis.

The presence of the plaques is associated, in the child:

  • throat pain and inflammation,
  • difficulty swallowing and loss of appetite
  • fever
  • flu and colds sickness symptoms;
  • alitosi,
  • raucedine.

Sometimes there is also an enlarged lymph node in the neck.

Read also: Streptococcal sore throat

Tonsillitis, what is it?

Tonsillitis is a bacterial or viral infection of the palatine tonsils. Viral tonsillitis, by far the most frequent, are caused by Adenovirus and Rhinovirus. Bacterial tonsillitis, on the other hand, is often supported by the streptococcal family

How Long Do Throat Plaques Last In Babies?

Infections viral they cannot be treated with antibiotics, which target bacteria. The body fights the viruses on its own and usually the sore throat, and the associated plaques, caused by viral infectious agents disappears within 3-5 days.

How to remove them?

Normally if the fever persists beyond this time window (therefore beyond 3 days) the pediatrician will prescribe the antibiotics because it is very likely that a bacterial infection has been triggered.

The body needs to rest the baby will have no appetite and will probably not want to eat but it is very important to maintain it hydrated offering him cool drinks and lots of water.

If the pain and discomfort are persistent, some can be given acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but always only after asking the doctor's opinion.

How to give antibiotics

It is very important to carefully follow the doctor's instructions both for the quantity of the drug to be administered to the child and for the duration of treatment with antibiotics.

Let us make sure that the child takes all medicines exactly as directed, even if he feels better. If antibiotic treatment is stopped too soon, the infection can worsen or spread throughout the body.

If the antibiotic is in liquid form it is good to ask the pediatrician what the correct dosage is for the age and weight of the child. Always measure each dose using the supplied device, such as syringe or teaspoon.


When to worry

It is good to call the pediatrician if the sore throat is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • A fever above 38,5 C])
  • Pus on the tonsils
  • Serious pain in the throat
  • Inability to swallow and drink
  • Pain in the ears
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck worsening
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Bad headache
  • Red, painful joints several weeks after a sore throat
  • Dark urine for up to 3 to 4 weeks after a sore throat
  • A rash

Call the doctor even if the child is no better after antibiotic therapy.


  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • NHS

  • sore throat
  • tonsils
  • infectious diseases
  • pharyngitis children
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