5 things you need to know about your child’s sore throat and the use of antibiotics

5 things you need to know about your child’s sore throat and the use of antibiotics

March 6, 2020 10:09 am Published by

Strep Throat (Sore Throat caused by bacteria called Streptococcus Pyogenes or Group A strep) is common in fall, winter and early spring. It mainly occurs in children between the ages of 5-15 years, although anyone could get it. About 3 in 10 children presenting with sore throat in winter would probably have strep throat.

  • Having a sore throat, does not necessarily mean your child needs an antibiotic.

In our daily practice, we meet lots of parents who tend to rush for antibiotics hoping for a rapid recovery for their children who suffer from a sore throat. But is this always the right decision? No. Most sore throats are due to non-bacterial causes such as viruses and giving antibiotics in those cases would not help at all. However, if it is Strep throat, then a full course of antibiotics is needed. If symptoms are suggestive of Strep Throat we opt for the “Rapid Strep Test” or “Throat culture” for a proper judgment. 

These are painless throat swabs that can easily solve out this dilemma.

  • Antibiotics are highly important for Strep Throat treatment.  

Some parents may think that antibiotics are causing a hassle and prefer not to give them at all. 

Untreated strep throat, however, may sometimes lead to uncommon but serious complications such as: 

Abscess of tonsils, Rheumatic fever or even Kidney problems (post-strep Glomerulonephritis).

Moreover, treatment with antibiotics would decrease the spread of Strep to others.

  • You cannot stop the antibiotic even if your child feels better! 

 A full course of antibiotics should be taken even if your child feels well in few days. This is to make sure that the infection is treated completely.

  • Your child can return to school after 24 hours from starting the antibiotics. 

After about 24 hours from starting antibiotics your child will no longer remain contagious and may return to  school if he/she feels better and there is no fever

  • There are other important measures to take to decrease the spread of Strep. 

 Strep can be spread through contact with saliva or nasal secretions, hence washing hands, avoiding contact with persons with sore throat and avoiding sharing glasses or utensils with others is very important.When it comes to the well being of your child, health conscious decisions must be taken.

 We always advise you to consult your pediatrician when your child is not feeling well.

 By Dr. Sara- Maria Boulos, MD, Specialist Pediatrician

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