What to Know About Strep Throat in Children

Strep throat is something that can occur in both children and adults, but it seems to be more common in children. The symptoms presented are also unique in children. Strep throat is caused by a bacteria called Group A Streptococcal.  Let’s take a look at what symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment looks like for strep throat in children. 

Symptoms of Strep Throat

Strep throat causes severe symptoms in children that adults don’t face. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, a sore throat with white patches, small red dots along the roof of the mouth, and swollen lymph nodes. Some children will have difficulty swallowing too due to pain and swelling.

Strep throat symptoms typically come on very suddenly and begin about 2-5 days after being exposed to the bacteria. The pain associated with strep throat is more severe than a normal strep throat, so most parents recognize something is wrong very quickly. 

Strep Diagnosis 

When your child starts presenting symptoms, you should keep them home from school and take them to a local urgent care center for a diagnosis. Urgent care centers see patients in the order they arrive, so you shouldn’t have to wait long to be seen.

The physician will examine your child, take their temperature, and look at the back of their throat. Then, a swab will be taken from the back of the throat to test for strep. The swab test is quick and painless. Within minutes you’ll have results confirming a strep throat diagnosis. 

Strep Throat Treatment 

If your child is diagnosed with strep throat, they will need antibiotics to clear the infection. Your child should stay home from school until they’ve been on the antibiotics long enough to make them no longer contagious. Inform the school that your child tested positive for strep so they’re able to look-out for similar symptoms in other children and hopefully stop the spread of the bacteria.

Even if your child begins to feel better, make sure to finish the full antibiotic script. You can also use warm liquids and tea to help soothe their throat. Throat numbing spray and a humidifier to moisten the air are other helpful home remedies. 

If you believe your child is suffering from strep throat, visit your local urgent care center ASAP. Delaying treatment means exposing more children to the bacteria and allowing your own child’s symptoms to get worse. Urgent care centers offer flexible hours and affordable pricing, so there’s no reason to delay!