Strep Throat, Your Kids & You – Understanding The Basics

 Strep throat is a very common pediatric health issue.

It’s important for parents to know the basics of strep throat in children and whether or not they need to see a pediatrician for treatment.

What Is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria. This bacterial infection causes pain and inflammation in the throat. It’s contagious and can be spread between individuals. If you believe your child has strep, try to take steps to stop them from spreading it to yourself or to other children.

How Common Is Strep Throat?

There are more than 3 million cases of strep throat in the US per year. Mostly, strep afflicts children between the ages of 5-15, though children and adults of every age can become infected with Group A Streptococcus.

What Signs And Symptoms Can Indicate Strep Throat?

Usually, the signs and symptoms of strep throat will begin to show within 5 days of infection. Commonly, these include:

  • A sudden fever of 101 F or higher
  • A red, sore throat with white patches of tissue
  • Headache
  • Stomachache
  • Vomiting

Additional symptoms may include:

  • Chills
  • Appetite loss
  • Pain & difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

The symptoms can vary widely. Some children may only experience throat soreness and a mild fever, while others may have much more severe symptoms like trouble swallowing.

Should My Child See Their Pediatrician For Strep Throat Treatment?

You should see your pediatrician if your child has:

  • A sore throat that lasts 2+ days
  • Persistent fever for more than 72 hours
  • A pink rash with a sandpaper-like texture on the skin with a sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing properly

How Do Doctors Check For Strep?

It is best to check for strep if your child has had symptoms for more than 24 hours. Your child’s doctor will simply swab the back of his throat with a cotton swab. Then, the swab will be examined in a lab for signs of Group A Streptococcus. The results of the test are typically ready in less than 5 minutes.

Next Steps

If you’re concerned your child has strep throat call us today for an appointment. We can examine your child’s throat and ensure that they get the care they need to beat the infection, and get back to their normal, day-to-day life. Contact us for an appointment now.