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Chest and Respiratory Problems

Swollen Lymph Nodes

Home Treatment - When to Call a Health Professional

The lymph nodes are small glands located throughout the body. The most noticeable lymph nodes are those in the neck. The lymph nodes swell as the body fights minor infections from colds, insect bites, or small cuts. More serious infections can cause the lymph nodes to greatly enlarge and become very firm and tender.

Swelling in the lymph nodes on either side of the neck is common with a cold or sore throat. The lymph nodes in the groin may swell if there is a vaginal or other pelvic infection, or if there is a cut or sore on the leg or foot.

Swollen lymph nodes may be felt in the areas shown.

Lymph nodes may remain hard long after the initial infection goes away. This is especially true in children, whose lymph nodes may get smaller but remain hard and visible for several weeks.

Home Treatment

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  • There is no specific Home Treatment for swollen lymph nodes. Continue treating the cold or other infection that is causing the lymph nodes to swell.

  • Your child may develop hard, swollen lymph nodes following a cold or minor infection. If the lymph nodes near the site of the infection are not tender and are not getting larger, you can monitor them at home and report them at the child's next regular doctor visit.

When to Call a Health Professional

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  • If the lymph nodes are large, very firm, red, and very tender.

  • If swollen lymph nodes are associated with other signs of infection in a nearby cut or sore:

    • Fever of 37.8°C (100°F) or higher with no other cause.

    • Swelling and tenderness.

    • Discharge from the cut or sore.

    • Red streaks extending from the area.

  • If you develop swollen lymph nodes after travelling in wilderness areas or abroad.

  • If swollen lymph nodes continue to get bigger, or appear without apparent cause and persist for 2 weeks or longer.

  • If swollen lymph nodes appear in areas other than the ones shown on See Swollen lymph nodes may be felt in the areas shown..

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