lymph nodes

These are the normally soft, barely palpable fleshy masses felt in the neck, behind the ears, in the armpits, and in the groin area of normal healthy children (they are actually all throughout the body - you just can't see them). They are part of the filter system in the body that traps germs and allows infection fighting white blood cells to congregate and destroy invading germs. After exposure to an infection, or especially after a bout of illness, these lymph nodes (don't call them glands, they don't secrete any hormones) are often quite swollen. This is generally a good sign of a healthy immune system. The swelling may last several weeks before decreasing. As long as the nodes decrease in size, they are benign and nothing to worry about.

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