1. inflammation of the tonsils.
  2. caused by a viral infection or, less commonly, a bacterial infection


  1. Red, swollen tonsils
  2. White or yellow coating or patches on the tonsils
  3. Sore throat
  4. Difficult or painful swallowing
  5. Fever
  6. Enlarged, tender glands (lymph nodes) in the neck
  7. A scratchy, muffled or throaty voice
  8. Bad breath
  9. Stomachache, particularly in younger children
  10. Stiff neck
  11. Headache
  12. chills
  13. earaches


  1. rhinoviruses – which cause the common cold
  2. The influenza virus
  3. Parainfluenza virus – which causes laryngitis and croup
  4. Enteroviruses – which cause hand, foot and mouth disease
  5. Adenovirus – which is a common cause of diarrhoea
  6. The rubeola virus – which causes measles
  7. bacterial infections

Risk Factors

  • age
  • exposure to germs

Diagnostic Tests

  • Using a lighted instrument to look at your child’s throat and likely his or her ears and nose, which may also be sites of infection
  • Checking for a rash known as scarlatina, which is associated with some cases of strep throat
  • Gently feeling (palpating) your child’s neck to check for swollen glands (lymph nodes)
  • Listening to his or her breathing with a stethoscope
  • Checking for enlargement of the spleen (for consideration of mononucleosis, which also inflames the tonsils)
  • Complete blood cell count (CBC)
  •  Throat swab


  • antibiotics
  • Surgery to remove tonsils (tonsillectomy)
  • drink plenty of fluids
  • get lots of rest
  • gargle with warm salt water several times a day
  • use throat lozenges
  • use a humidifier to moisten the air in your home
  • avoid smoke

Lifestyle Management

  • Wash his or her hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet and before eating
  • Avoid sharing food, drinking glasses, water bottles or utensils
  • Replace his or her toothbrush after being diagnosed with tonsillitis
  • Keep your child at home when he or she is ill
  • Ask your doctor when it’s all right for your child to return to school
  • Teach your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue or, when necessary, into his or her elbow
  • Teach your child to wash his or her hands after sneezing or coughing