How Can You Tell If Your Child Has Strep Throat?

strep throat in kids

As a parent, it can be concerning when your child is not feeling well. Strep throat is a common illness that affects children, and it’s important to know the signs and symptoms so you can seek treatment promptly. This blog will discuss strep throat symptoms, How to determine whether your child has strep throat, and indicators of strep throat in children.


What is Strep Throat?

The tonsils and throat are both impacted by the bacterial illness known as strep throat. It is a bacterial infection caused by the streptococcus bacteria that most frequently affects kids between the ages of 5 and 15. Strep throat in children can cause various symptoms, from mild to severe. 


Pediatric Strep Throat 

Taking your child to a Fresno pediatrician is crucial if you think they may have strep throat. A doctor will examine your child’s throat and may perform a rapid strep test to confirm the diagnosis. If the test is positive, your child will be prescribed antibiotics to help fight the infection. It’s important to follow the prescribed course of antibiotics, even if your child starts to feel better, to ensure the condition is fully treated. 

In addition to antibiotics, some at-home remedies can help ease the symptoms of strep throat in children. Urge your kid to get lots of rest and drinks, such as water and warm tea with honey. You can also offer soft foods that are easy to swallow, such as soup or pudding. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen, two over-the-counter painkillers, can help lower temperature and relieve discomfort.

If your child’s symptoms persist or worsen, seeking medical attention is important. In rare cases, strep throat can lead to complications such as rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation, so monitoring your child’s symptoms and seeking prompt treatment if necessary is important.  

Strep Throat Symptoms in Kids

The most common strep symptoms in kids include: 

  1. Sore Throat 

          This is usually the first symptom of strep throat. Your child’s throat may feel scratchy and painful, making swallowing difficult. 

      2. Fever 

           Your child may have a high temperature, which can indicate infection. A fever is usually present when your child has strep throat.  

      3. Headache

           Children with strep throat may also experience a headache. This can be a result of fever and dehydration. 

      4. Stomach Ache

           Some children with strep throat may experience abdominal pain, vomiting, or nausea. 

      5. Swollen glands

           Your child’s lymph nodes may become swollen and tender to the touch. This is a common symptom of strep throat. 

      6. Rash

            In rare cases, children with strep throat may develop a rash. The rash usually appears on the chest and stomach and may be accompanied by a fever. 

Strep throat in children can also cause fatigue, body aches, and difficulty swallowing. A Fresno pediatrician should be consulted if your kid exhibits any of these symptoms so that a proper diagnosis and course of action may be determined.

Signs of Strep Throat in Kids

There are a few signs of strep throat in kids that are not as common but should still be watched for: 

  1. Cough

           Cough with strep throat is not a common symptom for children, although some may develop a cough due to post-nasal drip. It’s important to note that a cough is more commonly associated with a viral infection than strep throat. 

       2. Red and swollen tonsils  

              If your child’s tonsils are red, swollen, and have white spots or pus, they likely have strep throat. 

       3. Bad breath 

              Children with strep throat may have bad breath due to the accumulation of bacteria in their throat. 

       4. Difficulty swallowing 

              Due to the inflammation, children with strep throat may find swallowing difficult. 

        5. Loss of appetite

              Due to the sore throat and difficulty swallowing, your child may experience a loss of appetite. 

Common FAQs about Pediatric Strep Throat

  • Can you talk with strep throat? 

Yes, your child can talk with strep throat. However, they may find it difficult and painful to do so. Encourage your child to rest their voice and drink plenty of fluids to help ease the pain. 

  • Does strep throat come with a cough?

A cough is not a typical symptom of strep throat. However, if your child has a cough, it could result from a post-nasal drip caused by the infection. A cough is more commonly associated with a viral infection, so speaking with a pediatrician Fresno specialist is important for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

  • Is strep throat contagious?

Yes, strep throat is highly contagious. It is spread through close contact with an infected person, typically through respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing. It’s important to take precautions to prevent the spread of strep throat, such as regularly cleaning your hands, avoiding close contact with ill individuals, and keeping your mouth covered when you sneeze or cough are further precautions. Once your kid has been prescribed antibiotics for at least 24 hours and is no longer contagious, they should stay home from daycare or school if diagnosed with strep throat.

  • Does strep throat go away on its own?

Strep throat will not typically go away on its own without treatment. It is a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics to help fight the disease and prevent complications. Untreated strep throat might result in more severe illnesses, including kidney irritation or rheumatic fever. If you think your kid may have strep throat, you should take them to the doctor so they may be properly tested and treated.

  • Can you get strep without tonsils?

Even those without tonsils can get strep throat. While the tonsils can help fight off infections, the Streptococcus bacterium causes strep throat. It can infect the throat regardless of whether or not the tonsils are present. Even after removing their tonsils, a person might still get strep throat. Hence, whether or not your child has tonsils, knowing the signs of strep throat is essential, as is seeking medical help if you suspect they are suffering from it.

Knowing the Signs of Strep: Keeping Your Child’s Throat Healthy

Strep throat is a common infection affecting children of all ages. Knowing the signs and symptoms of strep throat in kids is important so you can seek treatment promptly. Suppose your child is experiencing a sore throat, fever, swollen glands, or other symptoms of strep throat. In that case, seeing a pediatric Fresno for proper diagnosis and treatment is important. With prompt medical attention and at-home remedies, your child can recover from strep throat and get back to feeling like themselves in no time.  

If you suddenly need to search for a pediatrician open after hours near your location or an “after-hour pediatrician near me,” Children’s Medical Center of Fresno can accommodate you. We understand parents have busy schedules and unexpected child health issues may arise, so we offer after-hour appointments from 5 PM to 9 PM, Monday to Friday. These appointments can be either in-person or via telehealth. Additionally, we are open on Saturdays from 9 AM to 3 PM, providing in-person or telehealth appointments for your convenience during the weekend. 

To schedule an appointment for a sick visit, call (559) 455-1500 or visit our main page. We also provide the option of telemedicine for your convenience. 

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