Swollen Glands …. Part of Your Immune System’s Surveillance Team.
We have glands, called lymph nodes, all over our bodies that are constantly surveying the landscape to make sure that we stay healthy. Lymph nodes get swollen and are a warning sign AND a response to infection and inflammation. The most common lymph nodes that get swollen in response to coughs, colds and ear infections are the ones in our neck. Once the infection resolves, glands will get smaller and smaller over a period of a few days to a few weeks. This should happen in all healthy adults. Persistent lymph node swelling in adults should always be examined by a doctor.
In children, swollen glands are less of a cause for concern because being young humans, their bodies are being exposed to new triggers to the immune system on a daily basis. Sometimes, healthy children will have lymph nodes that persist for several months.
The key factor being a child that is HEALTHY – eating and drinking well, sleeping well, no fevers, rashes or pain symptoms.
When to worry and have your child examined:
➡️ Lymph nodes that are enlarging
➡️ Lymph nodes with overlying redness that are hard and tender
➡️ Lymph nodes associated with a fever that is persistent or keeps coming and going
➡️ Enlarged lymph nodes in the context of pain, fever, rashes, joint or muscle pain
➡️ Trust your intuition as a parent if something just DOESN'T seem right to you!