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Epiglottitis is pain and swelling of the epiglottis. The epiglottis is a flap of tissue at the back of the throat. It closes when you swallow. This prevents food and fluids from getting into the trachea, or windpipe.
The disease can be life-threatening. The swollen epiglottis can quickly block the windpipe. This makes breathing difficult.
Epiglottitis begins suddenly. A child with the disease appears very sick and has a fever and trouble breathing. Your child's voice may be muffled, and he or she may have trouble swallowing and may drool.
Different infections can cause the disease.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: December 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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