Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, the small glands found at the back of the throat behind the tongue.
The symptoms of tonsillitis may include: a sore throat, swollen glands, difficulty swallowing, headache, fever or coughing.
It is more common for tonsillitis to be caused by the same viruses which affect the respiratory (breathing) system and cause influenza, croup, or the common cold.
A family doctor will determine whether the infection is most likely to be viral or bacterial. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for bacterial tonsillitis.
A child with viral tonsillitis will require lots of rest, fluids and food. Over the counter medications may be used to reduce fever and pain in order to make the child more comfortable.
It is recommended to have the tonsils removed if your child has recurrent episodes of tonsillitis requiring multiple courses of antibiotics. There are set criteria as to how many episodes a year would necessitate a tonsillectomy.