Many students have been experiencing sore throats recently. Strep throat could be the cause but more often it is related to allergies or a cold. When a child has strep throat, they usually will have a fever, stomach ache, redness (possibly white patches) in their throat and they may have swollen lymph nodes in their neck. If the child has a cough, runny nose, or watery eyes, it more likely related to allergies.
If your child has strep throat, their doctor might prescribe an antibiotic. Antibiotics are not effective against a sore throat from a cold or allergies. They are only effective against strep throat.
Hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection!
Caring for your child with strep throat: If your child has strep throat, use a new toothbrush after the antibiotic treatment starts and they are no longer contagious. Give plenty of liquids (water, ginger ale, popsicles) to prevent dehydration. Avoid orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemonade, or other acidic beverages, which can irritate a sore throat. Talk to your doctor to find out when your child can return to school and other activities.
Caring for you child with a sore throat from allergies or cold symptoms:
It can help sooth a sore throat to sip warm liquids, eat cold or frozen liquids (popsicles),
gargle with saltwater, throat lozenges (for kids age 4 or older). If that is not enough to sooth the pain then it is recommended to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed.