This time of year, sore throat is a common childhood complaint and can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. Treatment varies depending on the cause so it is always helpful to have your child examined to determine the best course of action.
The most common bacterial cause of sore throat is group A strep, the bacteria responsible for strep throat specifically.
Apart from sore throat, common symptoms with strep throat include headache, abdominal pain, and fever. Children may also develop swollen lymph nodes in their neck and sometimes a rash. Runny nose and cough are generally not significant symptoms.
If your child is seen for sore throat, we often will test for strep by swabbing the back of their throat. If the test is positive, we will prescribe a course of antibiotics. Children are no longer contagious once they have been on antibiotics for 24 hours. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen is OK to give with the antibiotics to help with pain or fever and you can always find information regarding dosages for specific ages/weights to take any guessing-or math-out of the equation.
- Cold food or drink can be helpful to soothe sore throats (think popsicles and ice-cream).
- A new toothbrush halfway through the course of antibiotics is helpful to prevent reinfection.
Strep throat can make children feel pretty puny, but thankfully it is very treatable! Resistance to antibiotics is rare and most patients feel better within a few days of starting the medication. If your child is not improving, please contact our office.
Until next time,
Dr. Jeremy Pickell
Parkside Provider, Medical Director (Downtown Greer), and Vol Fan for Life