Strep Throat is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus bacteria. This bacteria is responsible for causing pain and inflammation in the throat.
Strep throat is common in children who are between the age group 5 to 15. It rarely occurs in infants or children younger than three years old
In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about Strep Throat and especially the ways to check whether your child has Strep Throat infection or not.
Keep reading the blog.
How can your child get strep throat?
The bacteria called Streptococcus lives in the nose and throat of the affected person.
It is highly contagious whenever the infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These bacteria get transmitted to other bodies by:
- Inhaling these small respiratory droplets.
- On touching the nose or mouth of the affected person
- On drinking or eating from the same glass or plate as the person infected with this bacteria
- Also, these bacteria can transmit through sores on the skin
- Close contact with a person having strep throat is the main reason causing this illness
- In some rare cases, it may spread through contaminated food as well.
Common symptoms of strep throat
Strep throat is a mild infection, but it can be very painful for kids.
The most common symptoms of strep throat are listed as:
- Pain in swallowing
- Sore Throat
- Swollen and reddish tonsils
- Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth
- White spots on the back of the tongue or back of the throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Unwillingness to eat or feed
- Sleeping more than usual
Other symptoms of strep throat include
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Scarlet fever or scar Latina (strep throat along with rash)
If your child is suffering from the following symptoms, then it may not be strep throat; rather, they are infected by a virus: It includes:
- Hoarseness in voice
- Runny nose
- Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye
How do determine whether your child is suffering from strep throat or not
A pediatrician can easily determine the type of illness your child suffers from on account of the symptoms and by doing a physical test if required.
It is essential to identify the presence of Strep throat bacteria with the help of the test if left untreated. It may result in rheumatic fever.
Further, this rheumatic fever may cause painful joints and skin rash and can negatively impact the kidneys and heart.
Test to determine strep throat
You can either go for a rapid strep test or a throat culture to get confirmation about strep throat.
A rapid test includes swabbing a child’s throat and then running a test on the swab. As the name suggests, it is quicker to identify the bacteria causing the illness.
If the test result is positive, your child is suffering from strep throat. Doctors may prescribe some antibiotics to cure this illness.
If the doctor suspects strep throat but still results are negative, they can let your child undergo a throat culture swab.
As this test takes more time in contrast to the rapid test, it can easily identify the presence of bacteria that which rapid test misses.
How antibiotics can cause relief from strep throat
Usually, healthcare providers treat strep throat with antibiotics such as penicillin or amoxicillin.
Someone who shows no sign of strep throat but tested positive for the same need not required to intake antibiotics as they are less likely to spread the disease to others
Some benefits of antibiotics are:
- It decreases the duration of illness
- Decreases symptoms of the disease
- Prevent the spread of illness-causing bacteria
- Prevents rheumatic fever
Reoccurrence of strep throat in kids
If your child is suffering from strep throat, again and again, it is not a sign of a problem with your child’s immune system. Instead, children may develop it due to repeatedly coming in contact with the carrier of strep.
In such scenarios, you must pay attention to the cause that infects your child repeatedly.
How to take care of a child suffering from strep throat
- Give your child plenty of fluids
- Give them soft fluids which they can easily swallow without any discomfort
- To soothe the sore throat of your child, you can offer them
- Warm fluids such as herbal tea with honey, warm water, or diluted juices if they are older than one year old.
- You may try throat sprays that do not contain benzocaine for children over four years.
- But remember to read the instructions mentioned on their labels carefully
- If your child is six or older, you can give them salted lukewarm water to gargle twice or thrice a day. Ask them not to swallow it
- Adopt good hygiene practices to avoid the spread of bacteria.
- Do not share utensils.
- Avoid sending your child to school until they start recovering and have no fever even after 12 hours of intaking antibiotics,
- Seek your child’s healthcare provider as soon as they develop any severe symptoms of strep throat.
Make an appointment with a pediatrician at Sunpediatrics if you observe the frequent occurrence of the symptoms of strep throat discussed above in your child.
Our highly expert pediatricians can help you develop a proper healthcare plan drafted per your child’s unique health conditions.
To make an appointment concerning your child’s health, contact Sunpediatrics.
We are readily available to serve your child with utmost health care.