CHILDRENS PROBLEMS: THE THROAT

SORE THROATS IN INFANTS Sore throats are difficult to diagnose in infants. If, when the child is crying, a light can be shone to the back of the throat, redness or discharge (pus) may be visible.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Try the child on warm or cold drinks to see if either is soothing.

Breast milk must be encouraged.

A multivitamin, preferably recommended by a health practitioner, can be administered.

The homeopathic remedies Aconite, Baptisia, Kali bichromicum, Kali muriaticum, Mercurius and Phosphorus should all be referred to. One pill of potency 6 every 2hr will often clear up a sore throat in an infant.

ADENOIDS AND TONSILS

The adenoids and tonsils are lymphatic glandular tissue found at the back of the nose at the top of the throat. They should be there. They are the home to numerous white blood cells that kill infections. Children are particularly prone to nasal and throat infections and the adenoids and tonsils are a main part of the defence mechanism.

Until the 1970s it was commonplace for the adenoids and tonsils to be removed, quite often for no reason. Nowadays, most ear, nose and throat specialists and paediatricians agree that removal should be a last resort.

Recurrent inflammation and an excess of thick mucus result in enlargement of these glands, leading to snoring, a nasal-sounding voice and sometimes partial asphyxia. The problem is not the adenoids and tonsils but the child’s immune system being ineffective and allowing persistent or recurrent infections.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Reduce or remove white sugar and excessive sweet things from the diet. These thicken the lymph which blocks the glands.

Ensure good water intake. This thins the mucus.

Ensure good diet and supplement with multivitamins if the child has persistent infections. Obtain naturopathic advice before being threatened by antibiotics and operations.

Review the following homeopathic remedies through your manual: Belladonna, Calcarea Carbonica, Hepar sulphuris calcarium, Pulsatilla and Silica.

Choking in an infant or child

As soon as evidence of choking occurs, try to remove the object with your fingers from the back of the throat. Do not waste time trying to view the object.

If you cannot reach the object, pick the child up by the feet and whilst upside down apply firm slaps with the palm of the hand between the shoulder blades. If the child is too heavy, then place him/her head down over your knee or thigh and repeat the slaps.

If this fails then the Heimlich manoeuvre should be employed .

QUINSY (PERITONSILLAR ABSCESS)

The tonsil is a collection of lymphatic tissues within a capsule at the back of the mouth. An infection that does not drain may become an abscess, which has been named quinsy after the surgeon who first described it.

A patient will complain of a severe sore throat usually associated with fever and, on examination, a tonsil (it is usually one-sided) will appear enlarged and inflamed. There is usually swelling around the area and a mass may be seen (although often it is not because the abscess may be tucked behind the tonsil).

RECOMMENDATIONS

A quinsy should be treated with antibiotics once diagnosed. This condition may obstruct the airways or eat into the close-lying carotid artery if left unattended.

Take twice the recommended dosage of a good-quality acidophilus (yoghurt bacteria tablets) product for five days longer than the antibiotic.

See Sore throats for complementary treatments.

CHOKING

An inhaled object or incorrectly swallowed food may block the trachea (windpipe) leading to choking, which, if fully obstructive or persistent, can be fatal. ‘STREP’ THROAT

A streptococcal sore throat is a frequent diagnosis that can actually only be made accurately once a swab is taken of any discharge from the tonsils or back of the throat, and found to be growing the bacteria Streptococcus.

The symptoms, which are most common in childhood but can occur at any age, are: sore tonsils and back of the throat; difficulty in swallowing; and, if the tonsils are particularly enlarged, difficulty in breathing. RECOMMENDATIONS

Request a throat swab, especially if the individual is being threatened with a course of antibiotics.

See Sore throats and Tonsillitis.

Pay attention to the homeopathic remedies Hepar sulphuris calcarium, Belladonna and Streptococcus by referring to them in your preferred homeopathic manual.

TONSILLITIS

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