Does My Child Need To See An ENT?

Well, kids are kids. They jump in mud puddles, come home with scratches, bumps and bruises, and sometimes with a runny nose and a sore throat. Their pediatrician, or mom, can handle most of the scuffs and bruises, but if the runny nose and sore throat become a more common occurrence, a specialist might be needed. Does your child need to see an ENT? Let’s look at some of the common reasons when it would be beneficial.

Chronic Issues May Need An ENT

Chronic is the key word. Children get sick all the time, and it helps them develop immunity. They get a cold in winter or maybe the flu. They may get a sore throat during the summer jumping in and out of the pool and into air conditioned rooms. None of this is out of the ordinary, and consequently, your pediatrician can handle these childhood viruses.

girl with sore throat on grey background

The difference is whether these illnesses become chronic. Do they keep coming back? Do they get worse each time?

Once an issue persists, gets worse each time, or never seems to go away, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist like Surgical Associates Northwest.

Some Baseline Examples

There are certain guidelines for parents to know when something is chronic. They include some of the following:

  • If your child has more than 3 ear infections in six month, this is considered chronic and more aggressive treatment may be needed. Surgical Associates Northwest will make sure the infection doesn’t come back or damage the eardrum. Many times there are temporary hearing issues and treatment will restore any lost hearing.
  • If your child has 6 bouts of tonsillitis and/or strep throat within a year, contact a specialist.
  • If your child has 3 instances of sinus infections within one year, you need the help of a specialist. Symptoms of sinus infections include discolored mucus, facial pain, cough, and loud breathing. If they last beyond 14 days, time to see a pediatric ENT.
  • Frequent nosebleeds might need the care of an ENT if they don’t respond to normal treatment.

A persistent cough, nasal congestion, allergies with asthma, or frequently waking up at night from breathing issues or coughing are all problems that should be treated by a pediatric ear nose and throat specialist.

Balance disorders, hearing loss, swallowing disorders, and facial fractures should also be treated by an ENT.  In addition, snoring is a red flag for sleep apnea and should be evaluated by a pediatric ENT.

If you think your child would benefit from seeing an ENT, contact Surgical Associates Northwest at (253) 833-4050, or request an appointment online, to schedule an appointment.