15 Serious Symptoms Of Mononucleosis In Children

Mononucleosis In Children

Image : Shutterstock

Is your child constantly complaining of sore throat and weakness? Have you noticed red spots or rashes around his mouth lately? If these symptoms are visible in your child, then he may be suffering from mononucleosis.Mononucleosis in children is fairly common.

As a mother, you are spending most of your time and energy protecting your child from infections and illnesses. But, are you clueless about mononucleosis? Fret not! Read this article to know all about it!

What Is Mononucleosis In Children?

Mononucleosis or mono or kissing disease is a common viral illness among kids and teens. About 90% of people over 35 have suffered from mononucleosis during their early childhood.

Causes Of Mononucleosis:

The Epstein – Barr virus (EBV) [1] causes mononucleosis. It transmits via the saliva of a patient. People who suffer from the infection once, carry the virus for the rest of their lives. Most of the time, the virus is in a latent state, but it occasionally multiplies and pass

es on to others.

Symptoms Of Mononucleosis:

Kids who are carrying EBV may show very mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all. However, the disease can be much more dangerous during teenage. The early symptoms of mononucleosis include:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Puffy eyelids
  3. Anemia
  4. Oversensitivity to light
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Fatigue
  7. Weakness
  8. Headache

Early symptoms may last for two to three days before the appearance of major symptoms which include:

  1. High fever
  2. Swollen tonsils
  3. Rashes on the body
  4. Red spots around the mouth
  5. Enlargement of the spleen
  6. Sore throat
  7. Swollen lymph node in the groin, underarm, and neck

Contact your physician immediately if your child is suffering from any of the major symptoms.

[ Read: Anemia In Children ]


The doctor may refer to your child’s medical history and perform a physical examination before diagnosing mononucleosis. He may also recommend a few blood tests to check for unusual-looking white blood cells. The tests will also help detect the increase in antibodies against EBV.


Mononucleosis in kids may lead to health complications like:

  • Trouble in breathing.
  • Anemia.
  • Enlargement of the Spleen and rupturing.
  • Liver diseases like jaundice or hepatitis.
  • Inflammation of the heart muscles.
  • Complications in the nervous system like – meningitis, encephalitis, and Guillain-Barre syndrome.
  • Low platelet count.

[ Read: Symptoms Of Jaundice In Children ]

Treatment Of Mononucleosis:

In most of the cases, no specific treatment is required for mononucleosis children. The illness subsides just like the other common viral illnesses.

The best treatment for mono is rest, especially in the early course of the illness when the symptoms are severe. Children suffering from mononucleosis should not participate in sports until the symptoms subside. It can cause the spleen to rupture and lead to internal bleeding. Your child should strictly avoid vigorous activities like weightlifting, wrestling, cheerleading and contact sports while he is suffering from mononucleosis.

To ease the fever and aching muscles, you can consult your doctor and give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to your child. Remember to follow the correct dosage. Do not give aspirin to children, as its intake may lead to the development of Reye syndrome[2]. You can help treat sore throat by giving your child warm water and salt to gargle. You should not give your child antibiotics, as mononucleosis is not a bacterial infection. Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids [3] like prednisone to treat inflammation of tonsils, spleen or throat.

Tips To Prevent Mononucleosis:

There is no vaccination for Epstein-Barr virus, but practicing hygiene can go a long way in preventing the infection from spreading. Here are some ways you can prevent mono in your child:

  • Tell your children to avoid close contact with kids suffering from the infection.
  • Teach your children to wash their hands often.
  • Tell them to avoid sharing foods, drinks and utensils with others.

Most of the cases of mono clear up within two or three weeks, although fatigue and weakness may last longer. Though your child may not require a specific treatment to overcome the infection, but you must consult a pediatrician to rule out potential complications.

Did your child suffer from mononucleosis? How did you help your child recover? Share your experience and advice with us in the comments section.

Recommended Article:

  • 5 Types Of Learning Disabilities In Children You Should Be Aware Of
  • Top 25 Simple Tips To Help Your Children Develop Healthy Habits
  • 5 Effective Treatments To Cure Fifth Disease In Kids
  • Sinus In Children – 5 Causes, 10 Symptoms & 3 Treatments You Should Be Aware Of