Sometimes it is impossible to see beyond the tongue of a child who has a sore throat. The tongues of about 30% of my pediatric patients do not go down when they say "Ahh."
However, when I instruct the child to "pant like a puppy," a complete visual evaluation of the oropharynx becomes quick and easy. The panting elevates the soft palate and lowers the tongue.
——Richard A. Honaker, MD
I do not follow the customary "Stick your tongue out" to examine a throat. I simply tell the patients to leave the tongue as is in the floor of their mouth. Then instruct them not to push against your tongue blade. Most of the time in the first or second try as they understand your instruction, you can have a great look for extended period of time, without a gag.
——Yash Pal Verma, MD