How To Care For Your Child
There are thingsyou can do to help your child feel better.
- Give them lots of liquids, like water, Pedialyte®, diluted apple juice, or popsicles. Give small amounts of liquid often .
- Give soft foods that are easy to swallow, like applesauce, mashed potatoes, hot cereal, or eggs. Your child may not want to eat much if it hurts to swallow.
- To soothe a sore throat, offer:
- For children over age 1, give warm fluids like water, herbal tea with honey, or diluted apple juice. Do not give honey to children under age 1. For some children, cold fluids or popsicles can be soothing.
- For children over age 4, give throat or cough lozenges or use throat sprays. Read the label to know the right dose for your child. Do not use throat sprays that contain benzocaine, as this could cause a drug reaction.
- For children over age 6 who are able to gargle without swallowing, mix ½ teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Have them swish and gargle the mixture 2 to 3 times a day for the next few days. Do not let your child swallow the salt water have them spit it out.
- For a fever or throat pain, give acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed. Read the label to know the right dose for your child. Do not give aspirin or products that contain aspirin.
Will Strep Throat Go Away On Its Own
We highly recommend being seen by a provider if you are concerned you may have strep throat. Strep throat typically goes away in three to seven days with or without antibiotic treatment. However, if you dont take antibiotics, you can remain contagious for two to three weeks and are at a higher risk for complications, such as rheumatic fever.
Whatre more, complications resulting from the bacterial infection can lead to increased susceptibility to other viral infections like influenza which can be fatal.
Pro Tip: If you have been diagnosed with strep throat, you can help prevent repeat infections by changing your and your familys toothbrushes and thoroughly disinfecting all surfaces that may have been in contact with the strep virus.
Symptoms Of Sore Throat
A sore throat can make it painful to swallow. A sore throat can also feel dry and scratchy. Sore throat can be a symptom of strep throat, the common cold, allergies, or other upper respiratory tract illness. Sore throat caused by a virus or the bacteria called group A Streptococcus can have similar symptoms.
Sometimes the following symptoms suggest a virus is causing the illness instead of Strep throat:
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- If I have a sore throat and a fever, should I go to the doctor?
- How long will it be before my test results come back?
- What kind of antibiotic should I take?
- What should I do to make my child more comfortable while he/she has strep throat?
- My child seems to get strep throat a lot. Could this be a problem with his/her tonsils?
- Should I stay away from my family members while I have strep throat?
Protect Yourself And Others
People can get strep throat more than once. Having strep throat does not protect someone from getting it again in the future. While there is no vaccine to prevent strep throat, there are things people can do to protect themselves and others.
Good hygiene helps prevent group A strep infections
To prevent group A strep infections, you should:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Put your used tissue in the waste basket.
- Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, if you dont have a tissue.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
You should also wash glasses, utensils, and plates after someone who is sick uses them. These items are safe for others to use once washed.
Wash your hands often to help prevent germs from spreading.
Antibiotics help prevent spreading the infection to others
People with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they:
- No longer have a fever
- Have taken antibiotics for at least 12 hours
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Why Drink Tea When You Have A Sore Throat
Drinking fluids in general is especially important when you’re sick . Fluids help to keep your throat moist, which reduces pain and irritation in your throat.
Warm liquids such as tea and broth are especially soothing to an irritated throatall the more reason to enjoy a warm cup of tea! But aside from hydration, some teas can provide real health benefits and fight off illness.
While tea isn’t going to be able to treat serious illnesses on its own, many teas contain antioxidants, which are compounds that can help your body fight illnesses such as colds and other viruses. Some teas and herbal blends are anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce pain and swelling associated with colds.
And of course, what’s tea without a little honey? Honey is naturally antibacterial, and helps to coat the throat and soothe irritation. So next time you’re feeling under the weather, sip a few mugs of warm, soothing tea.
Essential Oils For Sore Throats
Strep throat is a condition that occurs when a person becomes infected with the Streptococcus bacteria, often after the onset of a common cold.1
Strep infection often results in a mild fever and a sore, red, swollen, throat that discharges pus these uncomfortable symptoms may leave sufferers searching for ways to relieve strep throat pain.1
Fortunately for those suffering from strep throat, essential oils may be able to help. Using essential oils for strep throat offers an effective alternative to traditional treatment options.
Whats more, using essential oils for sore throat symptoms may also help in cases unrelated to the Streptococcus bacteria. Sore throats can be caused by multiple factors, including viral infections, which result in the throat becoming red, painful, and developing white or yellow sores.1
Want to learn more about essential oils? Get our FREE Video Series here
Luckily, a painful throat is not normally serious, and by using essential oil remedies to soothe strep throat and sore throats, sufferers may be able to avoid harsh over the counter medications and antibiotics.
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How Do People Get Strep Throat
Strep throat is spread when healthy people come into contact with someone who has it. The bacteria can spread to you when a person with strep throat sneezes, coughs, or blows their nose and you’re nearby, or if you share the same forks, spoons, or straws.
If you get strep throat, you’ll start to feel sick within 5 days after you were around the person who gave it to you.
Can Strep Throat Be Prevented Or Avoided
Strep throat is very contagious. It can be hard to protect yourself when you are around people who are infected with strep throat. Try to avoid people who have strep, when possible. If you must be around someone who has strep throat, be sure to wash your hands frequently. Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.
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Opt For Applesauce Without Cinnamon
Applesauce is smooth, making it easy to swallow even when your throat feels swollen and raw. While cinnamon has its health benefits, it might be too much spice when your throat is sore. While it is no “apple a day to keep the doctor away,” applesauce still offers a good amount of vitamins A and C.
Just be sure to leave out the cinnamon as it’s too spicy to help your throat.
What Is A Strep Test
A strep test looks for Streptococcus bacteria in the throat. The test is painless and takes very little time. The tip of a cotton swab is used to wipe the back of your throat. The swab is then tested.
The rapid strep test takes approximately 20 minutes. If the test is positive , you have strep throat. If the test is negative , the doctor may send the throat swab to a laboratory to double-check the results. Some doctors may not do a rapid strep test and instead just send the throat swab to the laboratory.
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Children And Certain Adults Are At Increased Risk
Anyone can get strep throat, but there are some factors that can increase the risk of getting this common infection.
Strep throat is more common in children than adults. It is most common in children 5 through 15 years old. It is very rare in children younger than 3 years old.
Adults who are at increased risk for strep throat include:
- Parents of school-aged children
- Adults who are often in contact with children
Close contact with another person with strep throat is the most common risk factor for illness. For example, if someone has strep throat, the bacteria often spread to other people in their household.
Infectious illnesses tend to spread wherever large groups of people gather. Crowded settings can increase the risk of getting a group A strep infection. These settings include:
- Up to 3 in 10 children with a sore throat have strep throat
- About 1 in 10 adults with a sore throat has strep throat
Antibiotics Get You Well Fast
Doctors treat strep throat with antibiotics. Either penicillin or amoxicillin are recommended as a first choice for people who are not allergic to penicillin. Doctors can use other antibiotics to treat strep throat in people who are allergic to penicillin.
Benefits of antibiotics include:
- Preventing the bacteria from spreading to others
- Preventing serious complications like rheumatic fever
Someone who tests positive for strep throat but has no symptoms usually does not need antibiotics. They are less likely to spread the bacteria to others and very unlikely to get complications. If a carrier gets a sore throat illness caused by a virus, the rapid strep test can be positive. In these cases, it can be hard to know what is causing the sore throat. If someone keeps getting a sore throat after taking the right antibiotics, they may be a strep carrier and have a viral throat infection. Talk to a doctor if you think you or your child may be a strep carrier.
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What Are The Primary Precautions To Prevent Strep Throat Infection
People may get strep throat more than once. As there is no permanent cure, people must follow general precautions to prevent its spread. One must regularly wash hands with soap for about 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-form hand rub-sanitisers.It is important to cover your mouth using tissue paper when you sneeze and cough and discard the used tissue. Other than these, washing the utensils after an infected person uses them is necessary.1
How To Prevent Strep Throat
Theres no vaccine available to prevent strep throat. One of the most effective ways to help avoid infection is regularly washing your hands. If you cant access soap and water, you can use a hand sanitizer instead.
Dont share drinks or food with someone who has strep throat. If someone in your home has strep throat, dont share their towels, sheets, or pillowcases. Wash dishes and laundry in water thats hot and soapy.
Parents of children with strep throat can help stop the spread to other family members by:
- keeping the childs eating and drinking dishes separate
- not sharing food, drinks, napkins, cloths, or linens between the child and others
- having the child cover all coughs and sneezes
- enforcing regular hand washing among everyone in the household
- replacing the childs toothbrush after the course of antibiotics ends
If you have strep throat, sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow or a tissue rather than into your hand. Be sure to wash your hands frequently. Explore more ways to prevent strep throat.
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How To Test For Strep Throat At Home
The only way to know definitively if you have strep throat is through a rapid strep test administered by a healthcare provider or at your nearest GoHealth Urgent Care. And while home strep tests are available, they arent 100 percent accurate and can produce false-negative results.
You can examine your throat for signs of infection by looking in the mirror and saying, Ahhh. If you see white dots or patches in the back of your throat, or your tonsils are red and swollen, you may have strep throat and should see your doctor or go to your local GoHealth Urgent Care.
How To Treat A Sore Throat Yourself
To help soothe a sore throat and shorten how long it lasts, you can:
- gargle with warm, salty water
- drink plenty of water
- eat cool or soft foods
- avoid smoking or smoky places
- suck ice cubes, ice lollies or hard sweets but do not give young children anything small and hard to suck because of the risk of choking
If you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
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Home Remedies For Strep Throat
Since strep throat takes 1-2 weeks to go away, even on antibiotics, some home remedies can help to reduce pain and make you more comfortable while you wait for your symptoms to improve.
Other home remedies that may be popular are not proven and could actually make things worse.
These eight remedies are safe to try.
Always ask your doctor or provider if you are not sure if a home remedy or over-the-counter treatment is right for your condition.
Can Other People Catch My Strep Throat
Yes. You can pass the strep infection to other people until you have been treated appropriately with an antibiotic. Children who have strep throat should not go back to school or day care until their fever has gone away and they have taken an antibiotic for at least 24 hours.
Here are more things you can do to prevent spreading strep throat:
- Frequently wash your hands.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid sharing food utensils while you are sick.
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How Can You Tell If You Have Strep Throat
The only way to diagnose strep throat is with a throat swab. Your healthcare provider will rub the back of your throat with a medical swab that looks like a long Q-tip. A rapid strep test or a throat culture can look for the streptococcus bacteria on the swab.
But how can you tell if its worth going to get a strep test in the first place? Your symptoms will give you an important clue.
When sore throats are caused by viruses, people usually experience some or all of the following:
Daycare center workers
Healthcare providers who work with children
If you have symptoms that are more consistent with strep throat or if you are at risk of having strep throat because of your age or job you should see a healthcare provider for a strep test. If you arent sure about your symptoms or risk, its better to see a healthcare provider and have a strep test done. This is especially important for children and teens, as they are more likely to develop complications from strep throat.
How You Get Strep Throat
Group A strep live in the nose and throat and can easily spread to other people. People who are infected spread the bacteria by talking, coughing, or sneezing, which creates small respiratory droplets that contain the bacteria. They can also spread the bacteria from infected sores on their skin.
It usually takes two to five days for someone exposed to group A strep to become ill with strep throat.
It is important to know that some infected people do not have symptoms or seem sick. People sick with strep throat are much more contagious than those who do not have symptoms.
People can get sick if they:
- Breathe in respiratory droplets that contain the bacteria
- Touch something with those droplets on it and then touch their mouth or nose
- Drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as a person infected with group A strep
- Touch sores on the skin caused by group A strep or come into contact with fluid from the sores
Rarely, people can spread group A strep through food that is not handled properly .
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Special Hot And Sour Shrimp Soup
For seafood lovers, this soothing soup will offer a burst of flavors. This hot and sour shrimp soup is light but filling and is one of the favorites for most people on cold days. The delicious shrimp stock and spicy flavors work wonders if you have a sore throat.
Heres the recipe:
- Black pepper, to taste