Swollen lymph nodes

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Swollen lymph nodes occur when the body is fighting an infection. Learn how to identify swollen lymph nodes and care for your child.

Key points

  • Most often, lymph nodes swell when they are fighting an infection.
  • Swelling due to viral upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold, will disappear on its own.
  • Swelling due to bacterial infections, such as strep throat, is treated with antibiotics.
  • Bring your child to their health-care provider if the lymph node is red, painful or getting larger or if it is not shrinking after a few weeks.
Last updated: March 15th 2024