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Your young child’s immune system is still developing, which is why he or she is more likely to contract illnesses. Although strep throat is particularly common among children who are attending school, infants can also become infected. This infection is highly contagious; if you suspect your child might have strep throat, keep him away from school and take him to an urgent care clinic. Strep throat typically requires medical treatment by a pediatrician. Here’s a quick overview of the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for strep throat:

Causes

Strep throat is caused by the A streptococcus bacteria. Your child may have acquired the infection by touching someone else’s hands or by exposure to another person’s sneezes and coughs.

Symptoms

If your child is too young to communicate his or her discomfort and symptoms, keep an eye out for sleep disturbances and irritability. Babies may refuse to drink or nurse, have a high temperature, and develop a red rash. Toddlers may also develop a fever, sleep disturbances, and irritability in addition to symptoms such as nausea, tummy aches, malaise, and a thick nasal discharge. If your child can communicate symptoms effectively, he or she might complain of throat pain, headache, fatigue, and problems swallowing. At the urgent care clinic, the pediatrician will examine your child for swollen lymph glands and small red marks in the throat.

Treatment

If the tests are positive for strep throat, the pediatrician will likely prescribe antibiotics, such as penicillin or amoxicillin. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate symptoms; however, never give pain relievers to a child without the approval of the pediatrician.

At-Home Care

Encourage your child to get lots of rest and drink water throughout the day. Older children may gargle with warm salt water. Children should eat soft foods, including applesauce and cooked cereals, and avoid consuming acidic and spicy foods.

Pediatrics After Hours offers pediatric urgent care services in a pleasant, child-friendly environment. For more information on our services, please visit our website or call our Dallas clinic at  214-363-7242, Plano at 972-618-2493, Garland at 214-919-3170.

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