Skip to Content
Vaccines aren’t just for kids. Is your teen protected?

Strep Throat In Children, Ambulatory Care

Strep throat in children

is a throat infection caused by bacteria. It is easily spread from person to person. Signs and symptoms usually appear 1 to 5 days after your child has been exposed to the strep bacteria.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Sore, red, and swollen throat
  • Fever and headache
  • Upset stomach, abdominal pain, or vomiting
  • White or yellow patches or blisters in the back of his throat
  • Tender, swollen lumps on the sides of his neck or jaw
  • Throat pain when he swallows

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Symptoms continue for more than 5 to 7 days
  • New skin rash that is itchy or swollen
  • Child tugging at his ears or has ear pain
  • Child drooling because he cannot swallow his spit
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Blue lips or fingernails

Treatment for strep throat in a child:

Your child will need antibiotic medicine to treat his strep throat. Give your child his antibiotics until they are gone, even if he feels better. Do this unless your caregiver says it is okay for your child to stop taking antibiotics. Your child may return to school 24 hours after he starts antibiotic medicine.

Manage strep throat:

  • Give your child ice, hard candy, or lozenges to suck on if he is 3 years old or older. This will help soothe his throat pain.
  • Give your child juice, milk shakes, or soup if his throat is too sore to eat solid food. Drinking liquids can also help prevent dehydration.
  • Have your child gargle with salt water. Mix ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of warm water to make salt water. This may help reduce swelling and pain.

Prevent strep throat in children:

  • Do not let your child share food or drinks.
  • Wash your child's hands often.
  • Replace your child's toothbrush after he has taken antibiotics for 24 hours.
  • Keep your child away from people who are sick.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.