In autumn, contagious illnesses like colds and strep throat often pass around schools, day care facilities, and families. If your child has a case of strep throat, don’t panic — but do get informed. Your child relies on you knowing what to do for illnesses like strep throat.
Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care offers a reliable source of information, diagnosis, and treatment for strep throat, including pediatric strep throat cases. Dr. Ulin Sargeant and the MIMPC team provide urgent care services like strep throat treatment from a convenient location in Duarte, California, and we also offer telemedicine.
Strep throat in kids
Strep is a bacterial infection, most commonly caused by bacteria in the group A Streptococcus (group A strep, or GAS). This illness is highly contagious, passing easily between people, including young children and teens. Most cases appear in kids ages 5-15.
Symptoms of strep throat can become very uncomfortable. They include:
- A painful sore throat that comes on quickly and worsens when swallowing
- Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite
- Headache or stomach pain
- Swollen, red, or painful tonsils or neck glands
If your child comes down with a case of strep throat, you may need a prescription for antibiotics to treat the infection. A simple rapid test confirms a strep throat diagnosis, and the team at MIMPC can call your child’s antibiotic prescription into the pharmacy of your choice.
Care for children with strep throat
Typically, with a few days of rest, fluids, and the right medication, cases of strep throat run their course and symptoms improve. Antibiotic medication starts helping reduce fever within 12 hours, and reduces symptoms 2-3 days after treatment starts.
It’s important for your child to finish the entire prescribed course of antibiotics, even when symptoms improve before they’ve taken all of the medication.
While your child is sick, you can do a lot to improve their comfort and to speed up healing. Here are some tips on at-home care to help kids endure a case of strep throat:
- Keep your child well-hydrated with water and oral rehydration products like Pedialyte®
- To reduce throat irritation, avoid giving your kid acidic fruit juices like orange juice
- Provide soft foods that won’t be painful to swallow, such as applesauce, soup, mashed potatoes, and eggs — but avoid serving foods that are too hot for sensitive throat tissues
- Offer chilled foods like popsicles that can provide some sore throat relief
If your child is old enough to gargle without swallowing, have them gargle a half-teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of warm water 2-3 times daily, spitting the saltwater out afterward.
What about over-the-counter medications? Children over age 4 can use throat drops or cough lozenges and throat sprays that don’t contain benzocaine. Follow the directions on painkillers or fever-reducing medications, making sure to give the correct dosage for your child’s age and body size.
If you need advice on getting through the worst of strep throat, get in touch with Dr. Sargeant and the team at MIMPC with a walk-in visit or a telehealth consultation.
You can count on the experience and expertise of our team at Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care. Contact us over the phone, or schedule an appointment through our virtual office now.