Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Tamsin | 2009/12/06


Facts surrounding Tonsilitis

My son (who turns 3 in 3 months time) has been hospitalised twice last year and twice this year with tonsillitis. All four times he suffered badly (especially with fever). Currently (or rather for the next year or two we have been told to monitor the situation. Could you please advise what exact function the tonsills have? I have enquired and been told that medically speaking tonsills should only be removed if it occurs at least 6 times in a year. I' m not for or against removal of tonsills ... merely enquiring). Your advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Expert's Reply



The tonsils play a role in the immune system in children forming the first line of defence against respiratory infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Unfortunately in many cases the tonsils become chronically infected as appears to be the case with your son. The usual cause of infection is a bacteria called 'Strep'. Although the usual advice is that a child should have at least 5 infections in a year before considering removal of tonsils, your son's tonsils are such a problem for him that he has been hospitalised 4 times. His tonsils certainly should be removed ASAP.

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