Winter sore throat in children needs to be differentiated, because the viral sore throat needs no treatment; however, bacterial sore throat, if ignored, can end up with permanent heart or kidney damage.

Sore throat is a symptom, not a disease. During winter season if children between 5 to 15 years complain of redness in the throat with fever ranging between 101–104°F and associated enlarged tender cervical lymph nodes, they need immediate attention and antibiotics. This sore throat is devoid of any cough, nasal discharge or nasal congestion.

On the contrary, viral sore throat will present with recurrent cough and nasal discharge.

The bacteria sore throat illness may last only for 2 to 3 days and if no antibiotics are given, the child may present with joint pains and involvement of the heart/kidney weeks later.

So called strep sore throat, the illness licks the joints and bites the heart. Six out of every 1000 children suffer from this illness. The illness is more common in winter season as children tend to spend more time indoor with each other.

Schools should be especially concerned about cough in children as the disease can rapidly spread from one child to another by droplet infection.