Key Points

• Drooling, posturing, and air hunger are classic signs of epiglottitis.

• A lateral neck radiograph showing a thumbprint sign can be diagnostic of epiglottitis.

• Although most peritonsillar abscesses should be drained, smaller and early abscesses may respond to medical therapy.

• Acute onset of wheezing in a child with no history of asthma should alert the clinician to a possible airway foreign body.

• A high index of suspicion is required for the timely diagnosis of retropharyngeal abscess.

• Adolescent boys with recurrent epistaxis may have a juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma.

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