Strep throat is caused by the Group A Streptococci bacteria. It is diagnosed by a strep throat culture test at doctor’s office. Symptoms consist of sore throat, fever, headache and sometimes nausea and vomiting. With antibiotic treatment, the fever and much of the sore throat are usually improved within 24 hours.
How can I take care of my child?
Your child needs the prescribed antibiotic, and it is very important that they take all of the medication. Not taking all the medication can lead to some rare but serious complications, like heart or kidney problems. Don’t share the antibiotic with other people or save some for later since the prescription is the exact amount your child needs to treat their infection. To keep the medicine working properly, store it in the refrigerator if it is liquid, and do not miss or skip doses. Even though child will begin to feel better before the medicine is complete, you will need to administer the antibiotic until all of the pills or liquid is gone. Speak to the doctor during your visit if you know your child will not take oral medication or if you will be unable to administer the medicine regularly.
You can help your child avoid reinfection by changing their toothbrush after two or three days of the antibiotic. Encourage bed rest until your child begins to feel well again. Soft foods and liquids may be easier for your child to swallow if their throat is very sore.
The main symptoms of strep throat can be treated in the same way recommended for colds and flu. Your child needs to stay home from school until fever is resolved and on antibiotics longer than 24 hours.
When to Call
Call during office hours if your child still has a fever 48 hours after taking the antibiotic. Call our office immediately if your child:
- starts drooling or has great trouble swallowing.
- has dehydration (hasn’t urinated in over 8 hours).
Call 9-1-1 immediately if your child:
- has severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, making grunting noises with each breath, unable to speak or cry because of difficulty breathing or severe retractions).
- is not able to swallow.
- has any swelling around their face or neck.
- has blue or dark purple color to the nail beds, lips, gums or face.