Everyone deserves to have a healthy and happy childhood. As parents, we take painstaking preventative measures to ensure our children can grow up without health complications. However, the occasional case of strep throat can sneak under the radar. It’s important to understand strep throat symptoms in kids. By getting a firm grasp of the warning signs, you’ll be able to cut down on recovery time and get your child back in school as soon as possible.
What is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a viral infection that affects the throat and tonsils and is caused by a strand of bacteria known as Group A Streptococcus. Often treated with antibiotics, strep throat is the cause of one-third of all sore throats experienced. Over time, if left untreated, strep throat can cause a number of complications, including rheumatic fever, kidney inflammation, painful joints, rashes, and even heart valve damage. Strep throat is also highly contagious and children or adults experiencing symptoms should be kept away from public areas. Needless to say, strep throat is not a laughing matter and should be diagnosed and treated immediately by a board-certified doctor, especially for children. After receiving proper medical care and medicine, your child should be ready to return to school within 3 days on average.
What are the Common Symptoms?
Strep throat infections have a variety of symptoms. If your child shows signs of strep throat, it’s crucial to take them to a medical expert as soon as possible to be properly diagnosed. If not, they could be at risk of serious health complications and infecting other children or adults. Strep throat symptoms in kids are quite similar to the ones found in adults, but it’s important to understand that it can drastically affect children more. If you have a child, be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Throat pain
- Red and white spots in the throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Stomach pain
How is Strep Throat Contagious?
Cases of strep throat are often spread easily due to the infected bacteria that are associated with them. If your child sneezes or coughs or has a runny nose in close proximity to someone else, the other person will most likely be at risk of infection. Children with severe cases of strep throat are more contagious, but the bacteria can still infect others for up to 3 weeks. Strep throat most commonly occurs during school months since kids are in such close quarters. This is why it’s important to teach your child proper hygiene and to wash their hands regularly, especially in public areas. If your child is infected, they could start experiencing symptoms quickly. If this occurs, it’s important to take them to a medical professional and allow them to recover at home so they do not risk infecting others.
How do You Treat Strep Throat?
If you’re positive your child has strep throat, your doctor will commonly prescribe 10 days of antibiotics. Within 24 hours, they will most likely not have a fever anymore and can be around others without the fear of being contagious. After the second and third day, most of the symptoms will clear up. However, even if your child begins to feel better, it’s crucial that they continue to take their medicine. Bacteria can still linger in the throat and can easily return with full force if not kept in check.
How to Care for Kids with Strep Throat
Children suffering from strep throat should be closely monitored. Aside from bed rest, you should make sure they consume plenty of water to limit the risk of dehydration. Ginger ale has also been known to slightly reduce fevers. Warm liquids such as hot chocolate or tea can be soothing. Avoid acidic drinks like orange or grapefruit juice. This can further irritate their throat and cause additional harm. Beyond medical care, we recommend giving your child plenty of love and attention. They may be scared, and it’s beneficial to assure them that they will recover quickly with proper medicine and bed rest.
If your child is experiencing strep throat, call your pediatrician to give them the proper medical care they need. However, if your child shows signs of severe symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit Katy Emergency Room.
Katy Emergency Room is a freestanding emergency center located in Katy, TX. Whether it’s day or night, our doors are always open for walk-ins 24/7. With little to no wait time, we have board-certified doctors and the knowledgeable staff needed to attend to life-threatening emergencies. Not only do we have advanced medical technology like CT Scans and X-rays, we’re committed to offering a more personalized method of care, making you our number one priority. Have peace of mind Katy ER is nearby. Visit or call today.