I know, pussy white tonsils, just what you want to hear about. We all wonder when kids have a sore throat — Is it strep? Is it going to get worse? Could it be dangerous?
This is simplified version of my post on how to tell if you have strep throat << if you want more info, that is a good post to check out!
Sometimes the symptoms of strep, especially in children can be masked. In adults it’s just the usual REALLY painful sore throat. Get out a flashlight, open wide, say ahhhh and check down that throat of yours (or have your spouse do it). Instead of looking red, it will look white. You could also try this in a cooperative child (sometimes it’s good to do this when you’re healthy also, just to have a good idea on what regularly lurks down there).
Kid Strep Symptoms Include:
1. Nausea and vomiting (fun, I know)
3. Sometimes rashes, but if that’s the case you need to be seen by a doctor.
Does your child have a cough? It is likely not strep. Strep doesn’t feel like a cold, it feels like a VERY sore throat, and possibly the other symptoms. If your kid has classic cold symptoms (runny nose, cough, etc.) it is likely not strep. Unless, they have strep AND a cold — the double whammy.
Strep, left untreated can turn into bigger issues that can lead to heart issues. When my kids complain that their throat hurts – I first check their throat. If I see white patches I take them in for a culture. Cultures are often free, depending on your insurance coverage. Some doctors offices will allow you to just get a culture and not see the doctor (although, it seems like this is happening less and less 🙁 ). **I have found a work-around, for those who are willing to swab their own family. I do use home strep tests with my own family.
There are two types of strep tests,
- Rapid strep — which results can be told within 5 minutes
- Overnight strep where you have to wait til’ the next day.
Personally, I enjoy a doctor who takes 2 swabs (which can be done simultaneously). Then, if the rapid strep is negative they culture it out just to be sure. The overnight strep is the true standard.
Strep is treated most often by your doctor with penicillan. It’s cheap and effective. You need to be sure to take all of the medication prescribed to you, and not stop once the sore throat is gone. Just because you start the antibiotics, it may still take a few days for the extreme throat pain to stop.
In the meantime you can take over the counter tylenol or ibuprofen, gargle with salt water or take lozenges as directed. And of course, just like I always say. LOTS OF FLUIDS. Really, water can solve almost anything. Except teething. Booo…. 🙂
Hilary is an RN, BSN who has worked in various medical fields for the past 12 years, however, none of the information on this blog, should be substituted for the care of a physician. The information provided on this blog is informational only and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. You have instinct, use it — and use it wisely. If you have questions, please ask your doctor. If you think you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, please call 911. Also, please don’t delay contacting a physician due to something you have read on here. Pulling Curls doesn’t takeresponsibility for your health. That’s your job. We’re just a nice read.