Tonsillitis in Children: Understanding Their Silent Struggles

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If your child’s throat feels sore and itchy persistently for more than 48 hours, you must consider visiting a tonsils doctor in Dubai.

The palatine tonsils, situated on either side of the throat, are soft tissues that play a role in the lymphatic system’s defence against infections. When exposed to viruses or bacteria, the tonsils can become swollen, resulting in tonsillitis. 

While this contagious infection can affect individuals of any age, it is commonly observed in children. While most cases of tonsillitis are not severe, untreated strep throat caused by the bacteria “streptococcal” can lead to more serious complications.

Tonsillitis manifests in different forms, including:

  1. Acute: Acute tonsillitis is characterized by the sudden onset of symptoms.
  2. Chronic: Chronic tonsillitis involves persistent symptoms that persist even after receiving treatment.
  3. Recurrent: Recurrent tonsillitis refers to multiple episodes of acute tonsillitis occurring within a year.

What might cause tonsilitis in children?

Pediatric tonsillitis can be caused by various factors, including:

  1. Viral Infections: Viruses such as the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and herpes simplex virus can lead to tonsillitis in children.
  2. Bacterial Infections: Tonsillitis can also result from bacterial infections, particularly streptococcus bacteria (group A strep), which can cause strep throat. This bacterial infection may transmit through direct contact with an infected person or by sharing utensils or personal items.
  3. Allergens or Irritants: Exposure to allergens or irritants like air pollution or cigarette smoke can trigger a sore throat, which may contribute to tonsillitis.
  4. Fungal Infections and Postnasal Drip: Fungal infections or chronic postnasal drip can also cause a sore throat, potentially leading to tonsillitis.

Additionally, other inflammatory conditions require prompt treatment, including strep throat, acute mononucleosis, tonsil stones (tonsilloliths), peritonsillar abscess, and hypertrophic tonsils.

Symptoms of tonsillitis in children

Tonsillitis is a prevalent condition among children and is characterized by various symptoms, including:

  1. Scratchy voice
  2. Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
  3. Persistent or sensitive sore throat lasting longer than 48 hours
  4. Snoring
  5. Difficulty swallowing
  6. Bad breath


Besides some other symptoms include 

  • Ear pain or difficulty breathing (in cases involving adenoids)
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Unusual fussiness (in infants and toddlers)
  • White or yellow patches on the tonsils

How do tonsils doctors in Dubai diagnose tonsillitis?

Diagnosing tonsillitis typically involves a thorough examination by an ENT doctor to visually inspect the tonsils for signs of inflammation, redness, or swelling.

Furthermore, throat swabs may be taken for a throat culture to identify the specific bacteria or viruses causing the infection. The tonsils doctors in Dubai may also order a complete blood count (CBC) test may also be recommended to assess the white blood cell count, which can indicate the presence of an infection.

At home, parents can perform a simple observation to examine the tonsillitis presence in their child: 

Place a spoon handle on your child’s tongue while they say “Aaah”, and use a light source to examine the mouth. Seek medical attention if the tonsils appear red or swollen or if the sore throat persists beyond 48 hours. Note that this observation may not be suitable for infants or resistant children, in which case direct consultation with a doctor is advised.

Tonsillitis treatment options

Preventive measures for pediatric tonsillitis include regular handwashing and avoiding contact with sick individuals. 

The primary treatment involves medication options depending on the cause of tonsillitis. Viral tonsillitis usually resolves on its own within a few days, while strep throat-related tonsillitis requires antibiotics prescribed by a paediatrician. It is essential for the child to complete the antibiotics’ full course, even if symptoms improve.

Home remedies that can help alleviate symptoms include drinking cold liquids or warm, bland fluids, gargling with warm salt water, using benzocaine lozenges (not recommended for infants or young children), taking over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (avoiding aspirin), and consuming popsicles or ice cream.


Note: Children on antibiotics should stay away from school or daycare for 24 hours to prevent the spread of strep throat to others. In cases of recurrent infections, a tonsillectomy (tonsil removal) may be recommended.


In some cases of enlarged tonsils causing recurring tonsillitis, surgery can be recommended. Many concerned parents keep asking us about the tonsillectomy (surgery procedure) and its safety. Here’s a brief about our procedure for tonsillectomy in Dubai.


If the child experiences recurrent infections, a tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils) may be recommended. Tonsillectomy (ton-sih-LEK-tuh-me) is a brief surgery to remove the tonsils, two oval-shaped lobular tissues suspended at the back of the throat( one tonsil on each side).

Tonsillectomies are common, safe outpatient surgeries that usually last about 20 minutes. After the procedure, the child can typically return home a few hours later.

Dr. Peter Baptista Jardin is a highly regarded ENT specialist and tonsils doctor in Dubai, known for his expertise in the field. Dr. Peter offers top-notch ENT care and personalized treatment options.

Patients choose Dr. Peter for his exceptional skills, compassionate approach, and commitment to delivering the best possible outcomes. 

Dr. Peter Baptista

Dr Peter Baptista Jardin

European Board Certified ENT Doctor In Dubai

Dr. Peter Baptista Jardin is an ENT specialist with a special interest in treating sleep apnea. He is a revered expert in Spain for performing the first ever robotic transoral surgery in 2011, and the only series of hypoglossal nerve stimulation proved revolutionary for obstructive sleep apnea treatment worldwide. He currently serves as an ENT doctor in Dubai’s Al Zahra Hospital.