Strep Throat in Children

child has strep

Strep throat is an infection of the throat brought on by a kind of bacteria known as group A streptococcus. There are numerous types of streptococcus bacteria, however this one in particular causes strep throat in children. It is the most typical bacterial infection of the throat, and is seen frequently in children 5 to fifteen years of age. It is much less typical in preschool and more youthful children.

Kids get strep through person-to-person contact, typically through saliva or nasal secretions. The germs can spread out quickly in areas where there is close contact, such as in households and classrooms. Even being exposed to tiny droplets of wetness that are released from the breathing passages upon sneezing or coughing can easily spread out strep throat in children. Shaking hands with an infected individual is another typical method strep is spread out.

Strep Throat Symptoms in Babies

It can in some cases be hard to distinguish strep throat from other infections of the throat. Most sore throats are brought on by viral infections and do not respond to antibiotics. Only your pediatrician can say definitively if your child has strep. Any or all of the following symptoms can appear in strep throat in children:

Symptoms start two to 5 days after exposure, a shorter incubation than many germs, and frequently have a really quick beginning, with fever typically being the first symptom. As you can see from the long list of symptoms, identifying strep throat in children can often be challenging. And offered the range in severity the symptoms can have, some kids might have very mild or almost no symptoms at all while others will have severe symptoms, which makes medical diagnosis that much harder.

How to Help to Child with Strep Throat

If you suspect strep throat, or if your child has remained in close contact with another child detected with strep throat, see the doctor immediately. Up until your child is seen by a doctor, you should keep her away from other children as much as possible. Your pediatrician will take a history and analyze your child’s throat. Often the appearance is “apparent strep.” A test, known as a fast strep test, can be done in the workplace; the doctor takes a throat swab and evaluates the sample. This takes roughly five minutes and is around 95 percent precise in identifying strep. Nevertheless, in many cases the fast strep test will miss out on true cases of strep throat in children. An unfavorable quick strep test needs to be followed by a throat culture. This involves taking another throat swab and positioning the contents of the swab on an unique culture that will grow strep bacteria if present. This test takes forty-eight hours to complete and is considered the most accurate. A negative throat culture can practically entirely eliminate strep as the reason for your child’s symptoms.

Treatment for Strep Throat in Children

If strep throat is verified, it ought to be treated with antibiotics, even if your child seems to be feeling better. Sore throats from strep will typically enhance on their own; however, treating strep throat in children with antibiotics is still necessary due to the fact that:

  • Your child is still contagious after her symptoms are improving. If she is treated with antibiotics, she will no longer be contagious twenty-four to forty-eight hours after beginning treatment. Children can be contagious for approximately twenty-one days When not treated with antibiotics.
  • Symptoms will be alleviated much faster with antibiotic treatment.
  • Treatment with antibiotics avoids complications of strep throat in children, covered listed below.

As increasingly more bugs end up being resistant to drugs, periodically strep throat in children does not respond to the typical milder antibiotics. If your child has actually not improved within 2 to 3 days, contact your pediatrician.

It is very important to complete the whole course of antibiotics. If treatment is stopped too soon, even if your child is feeling much better, strep throat can return.

In addition to taking the antibiotics correctly, the following can help strep recover:

  • Be sure your child gets plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration.
  • Cool water and popsicles soothe a sore throat.
  • Dull soups and unique teas created for sore throats can help soothe the throat also.
  • Saltwater rinses can help the pain.
  • Ibuprofen can help reduce the pain and swelling of strep throat in children, along with lowering the fever.

Avoid acidic beverages when your child has strep throat. These consist of orange juice, lemonade, grapefruit juice, and others that can worsen the throat irritation.

Do not send your child back to school if she is still running a fever or is still contagious. Schools have different policies regarding whether they let children back twenty-four or forty-eight hours after starting treatment for strep throat. Talk with your school administrator about your school’s policy. Remember to start probiotics with the course of antibiotics.

Complications of Untreated Strep Throat in Children

The following are complications that can occur if strep throat in children goes untreated.


Seldom, a throat infection will spread out into the surrounding neck tissues and cause a large, infectious swelling in the neck called a peritonsillar abscess. A big mass will be evident on the side of the neck, and the child may have trouble swallowing or perhaps breathing. This requires immediate evaluation in the doctor’s workplace or an emergency room and intravenous (IV) antibiotic therapy.

Rheumatic Fever

Extremely rarely the strep bacteria will get in the bloodstream and travel to the heart, where it follows one of the heart valves. The bacteria can form a little mass of infection on the valve, which disrupts heart function. Symptoms consist of chest pain and shortness of breath, along with persistent fevers. Anyone with these signs with a known strep infection ought to go to an emergency room right away. Treatment involves aggressive IV antibiotic therapy.


This expensive word simply indicates inflammation of the kidneys. This isn’t an actual strep infection in the kidneys. Rather, it occurs when the immune system develops antibodies to attack the strep, but the antibodies unintentionally attack the kidneys as well, triggering them to briefly stop working Blood in the urine (either red or cola colored) signifies this problem and hospitalization may be required.

Scarlet Fever

This isn’t really in fact an issue of strep throat in children. It is merely an allergic-type reaction to the bacteria, resulting in a red, pimply, rough-feeling rash throughout the body. Scarlet fever is actually no more harmful than standard strep throat, although a child may feel more ill. There is no treatment for this rash, aside from antibiotic treatment for the infection,


Teaching good hygiene practices is necessary in preventing strep throat in children. Frequent hand washing is a great idea, especially during times when there are recognized strep throat outbreaks at school. Tell your children to cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing and clean their hands later. If your child has strep, keep her consuming utensils and tooth brush separate from everyone else’s.

If your children appear to be passing strep throat around more often, one or more of them may be providers of strep throat. A provider harbors strep bacteria in his/her throat however does not have symptoms. Providers are capable of passing strep to others. Dealing with providers with antibiotics can get rid of the bacteria from their throats and help break this cycle of re-infection. Sometimes, children who get duplicated strep infections year after year might need to have their tonsils gotten rid of.

If your child gets strep throat, purchase a brand-new tooth brush and have her start using it two days after starting the antibiotics. If the exact same toothbrush is used, bacteria are still present on the bristles and can re-infect your child after the round of antibiotics is completed.


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