Learn how to detect if your child has strep infection!
Children, with their underdeveloped immune system and less than perfect hygiene practices, are prone to a lot of illnesses including the strep infection. Strep infection or strep throat is a type of infection that’s caused by the streptococcal bacteria.
The streptococcal bacteria comes in 20 different types (scary!) but they are formally categorized into two primary groups: Strep A and Strep B. Strep A is found inside the throat and in the surface of the skin. Strep B usually resides in the digestive system and in the vagina.
RELATED: When to call the doctor about your baby
Strep A is usually the culprit of all strep infections in children but it doesn’t pose serious health threats. This includes the overly annoying strep throat infection.
Strep throat or Sore throat
Sore throats can progress to strep throats but not all sore throats are strep throats. Sore throats usually clear up without needing any type of medical treatment. However, strep throat typically requires a week’s medication or antibiotics.
If your child’s sore throat symptoms doesn’t clear up in about 3 days, chances are it could be strep throat. Here are some of the strep infection symptoms to watch out for:
- Red and swollen tonsils
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Loss of appetite
- Tender glands in the neck
- Bad breath
- Stomach ache
- Red rashes
- White and red patches in the throat
If you notice two or all of the symptoms in your child, visit your doctor immediately.
strep infection is contagious…be careful!
To confirm if your child does have strep infection, a throat culture must be taken. This is done by lightly rubbing a cotton swab on the throat and tonsil area of your child. The swab will then be subjected to examination and the results will be known after a day or two.
Once strep infection is confirmed, your child’s doctor will prescribe antibiotics to combat the said infection. This treatment should be started immediately because strep infection is highly contagious and could be transferred from child to child or to the whole family.
RELATED: Should your child’s tonsils be removed?
When taking antibiotics for strep infection, it is very important to take the exact dosage at the recommended length of time. Even though the symptoms have already disappeared within 3 days, the bacteria could still be lurking in the throat and could come back with a vengeance. Apart from the typical medication, antibiotic shots may also be given to children with strep infection.
Strep infection can take a toll on a child’s body. Make sure that your child is properly hydrated and is ingesting lots of fruits and vegetables. Avoid giving acidic juices such as lemonade, orange juice or grape fruit juice as these can further irritate a sore throat. Warm water with honey is the best beverage for your child.
Has your child ever had strep throat? How did you detect the illness? Tell us all about it by leaving a comment below. Find out more about strep infection by watching the video below: