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Why does my 3-year-old son suffer from recurrent sore throat and fever?

Q: My 3 year old gets recurrent sore throat, fever, aches and sometimes his mouth stinks. He weighs only 15 kg. What could be the reason for this? He is allergic to dust and had suffered from otitis media some months back. To add, both his mother and I suffer from allergic rhinitis.

A:Your child weighs about 15 Kg. This weight is a little low for his age, considering the present trends. However, it is not too low. This indicates that your son is indeed having frequent illness, which had impacted his thriving. The usual cause is only infection. Many times, this sort of infection is due to viruses. If the throat infection also reaches the ear, pain in the ear could occur (this pain could be very severe). Very rarely, the infection in the ear may lead to a discharge in the ear. The treatment will be aimed at the throat. Pain relievers and anti fever medicines are a must in adequate dosage and for a sufficient duration. If the infection lasts for more than 48 hours, the cause could be bacteria. Such a scenario requires the addition of an antibiotic. Once an antibiotic is started, it should be continued for at least two days in a three years old child. At all times, you must take care to feed the child with food and water (other fluids like juices and beverages). Your paediatrician is the right person to prescribe correctly and also to guide you. There are no special methods for prevention. Universal precautions like attention to clean water, food, paring the nails etc. If your son had already been put in a play school, please ensure that children with respiratory infections are kept a little segregated, so that the children do not get the same. When such a regimen is in place, if the infection persists and recurs, and if your child is snoring, you must get an ENT consultation.

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