• Sore Throat - Pharyngitis

  • One of the most common complaints children have is a sore throat. Many sore throats go away by themselves. But one kind of sore throat, called “strep throat” or “streptococcal pharyngitis”, must be treated with medicine (antibiotics).

    Strep throat symptoms may include:

    • A sore throat that starts quickly
    • Pain when swallowing
    • A fever
    • Red and swollen tonsils
    • Body aches and not feeling well
    • Swollen neck glands
    • Sometimes headaches, throwing up, and belly aches

    How do you know if your child has strep throat?
    A sore throat can be caused by a virus or bacteria. Antibiotics will work ONLY against bacteria, not viruses. To find out if your child has a strep infection, your doctor will swab your child’s throat and test it for the group A streptococcus bacteria. If the test shows your child has strep, the doctor will give him or her antibiotics. No one, not even the doctor, can tell if a sore throat is strep by just looking at it.

    How you take the medicine is important.
    Your child must take antibiotics the way the doctor says. And be sure your child finishes all the medicine the doctor prescribed. Don’t stop just because he or she feels better. Antibiotics may:

    • Reduce the symptoms
    • Help your child feel better faster
    • Prevent others from getting sick
    • Prevent the sore throat from becoming more serious

    If your child has strep throat, keep him or her home from school until the fever is gone, and until he or she has taken antibiotics for at least 24 hours.

    Prevent others from getting sick:

    1. Children and parents should wash their hands often.
    2. Throw away dirty tissues used for runny noses and sneezes right away. Do not share spoons or forks, or drinking glasses. Before using them again, clean them with hot, soapy water.
    3. Wash toys before sharing them with others.

    If your child is sick, call the doctor right away. Find out what’s wrong and treat the illness so others don’t get sick.