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What is the reason for swollen lymph glands?

Q: My 5 year old son has swelling of both his lymph nodes on his neck. He had first developed this problem a year back, when his pediatrician gave him high doses of antibiotics to treat, for his white blood cell count had crossed 30,000 due to high infection. With the antibiotics his infection was cured and second blood report showed white blood cell count as 5700. On advice of his doctor we had done a peripheral smear of his blood and the doctor absolutely ruled out any serious abnormalities, which are normally associated with swollen lymph nodes. But till date (almost a year) my son's lymph node has not completely gone down. Is this normal? My son is otherwise very active, weighs 25 kg, very tall, plays tennis. His platelet count is normal. Why did he get the swollen lymph nodes and how can I prevent it? One important point that I would like to mention is that my son had swellings from approximately 2 years of his age on his neck, whenever I showed the doctor he said that they are lymph nodes and there is nothing to worry.

A:There is no cause for worry. Lymph glands are normally present in various parts of the body and their job is that of a sentry. Any infection in the local area makes them grow, since they are trying to contain the infection. Once the infection is brought under control, the glands reduce in size but never completely disappear. If glands keep growing or new ones appear, then further tests are indicated; not otherwise.

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