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Cervical adenitis is an infection of a lymph node in the neck.
Lymph nodes are part of our immune system, which helps fight
infections. Sometimes nodes in the neck become infected and these
infections are called cervical adenitis. There will be usually be
a painful and enlarged lymph node in the neck. It is often red and
feels warm. The child will also complain of neck pain and be
unwilling to fully move the neck in all directions due to the
Bacteria or viruses present in the nose, tonsils, or adenoids can
spread to the lymph nodes and cause an infection. Also, cavities
in the teeth can become infected and the bacteria may then spread
to the lymph nodes. The infected lymph node then becomes enlarged,
warm, and tender.
Your child's healthcare provider will ask about your child's
symptoms and do a physical exam. If the node is extremely swollen,
or if the child has severe pain, sometimes an X-ray or computed
tomography (CT) scan of the neck will be done. This will show any
infection in the inner tissues of the neck.
Most lymph node infections are treated with oral antibiotics.
More severe infections may need to be treated with IV antibiotics
in the hospital. Occasionally, the lymph node will need to be
Antibiotics are used to treat the bacterial infection. Your
child's antibiotic is ________________________. Your child's
dose is _________ given ____ times a day for a total of ____
Your child needs to take the antibiotic as prescribed and not
stop taking the medicine even if the symptoms are going away.
Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen if he or she
develops a fever of 102�F (39�C) or higher or has pain from
the neck swelling.
Make sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids.
Your child's lymph node may have been outlined with a pen
during your visit. If so, watch to see that the node is not
enlarging outside of the markings.
All children with lymph node infections should see their
doctor within 2 to 3 days of beginning treatment to make sure
the lymph node is getting better.
Call IMMEDIATELY if:
Call within 24 hours if: