The tonsils perform an invaluable service during infancy. From their location at the back of the throat, they intercept bacteria from the mouth and allow the body to create antibodies. By the age of three, a child's tonsils will have done the bulk of their job. Unfortunately, their constant exposure to bacteria also makes them susceptible to irritation. The tonsils in a child suffering from tonsillitis can easily be seen as red, inflamed tissue on both sides of the throat just behind the tongue. Not all that long ago, having the tonsils removed was a normal part of childhood, accounting for a third of all the operations performed in this country. More recently, advances in antibiotics have allowed doctors to treat tonsillitis without surgery, although it still remains an option in severe cases. If your child suffers from inflamed tonsils, an examination by an ear, nose and throat specialist will be necessary to assess the correct manner of treatment.