Lymph nodes are part of the body’s immune system. They’re located in the neck, armpits, and groin. Lymph nodes filter out bacteria and viruses and capture them so that white blood cells can destroy them. When the body is fighting an infection, lymph nodes may swell. Because children are frequently exposed to new bacteria, your child’s lymph nodes may often appear to be slightly swollen. The lymph nodes may be swollen in one part of the body, or even only on one side of the body. That just means that those nodes are fighting infection near that site and not others.

The majority of the time, swollen lymph nodes need no treatment. If the swelling is caused by a virus, it will subside on its own in two to four weeks. Bacterial infections may be aided by antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. Avoid pressing on or squeezing the swollen lymph nodes. In addition to them being tender to the touch, over-stimulation may irritate the nodes and cause prolonged swelling.

Seek attention from your Orlando Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor for swollen lymph nodes if your child has:

  • A fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lymph nodes that are swollen throughout the body
  • Lymph nodes that swell suddenly
  • Skin around the lymph nodes that is red or purple
  • Started losing weight rapidly or experiences an unusual loss of appetite
  • Lymph nodes that are swollen for more than one week
  • Begun bleeding from the nose or mouth

Aside from virus or bacterial infection, lymph nodes may swell if your child has sustained an injury or bug bite in the area. If your child experiences prolonged swelling in the lymph nodes that can’t be explained by illness or injury, your doctor may biopsy the node to determine why it’s swollen.

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