Your seven-year-old complains of a sore throat. She is running a fever and says that the sides of her throat feel puffy. Does she have strep throat? Here at 7 Days Pediatrics, in Edison, NJ, our team of six board-certified children's doctors can help you find the answer!
It's pretty common
Strep throat is a common childhood illness affecting kids up to age 15 before becoming less frequent in adulthood.
Different from the throat discomfort that results from the common cold, strep isn't caused by a virus, but rather, from a bacteria called Streptococcus pyrogenes. Detected through a throat examination (visual inspection) and throat culture, strep throat requires treatment with an antibiotic to quell symptoms and avoid complications.
Why strep can be dangerous
Besides the symptoms of painful sore throat, fever, fatigue, and stomach ache, strep can cause swollen glands in the neck which then impede the airway and create complications in other bodily systems. Untreated, strep throat may also lead to rheumatic fever, a debilitating illness which damages the heart valves and joints.
The strep test
Your Edison children's doctor uses a rapid strep test to detect this bacteria quickly. All it takes is a quick throat swab, with results appearing in 10 to 15 minutes. Your pediatrician may send a sample to a medical lab for a culture and analysis to confirm the diagnosis of strep throat.
Most children respond well to treatment with antibiotics. Amoxycillin is a common choice to combat the illness, while ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be used to lessen any pain. Parents should also push fluids, offer a soft diet, and ensure that children rest for a couple of days after beginning treatment.
To help avoid contracting strep throat (and other communicable diseases, such as the flu and the common cold), practice careful hand washing, cough/sneeze into a tissue, and stay out of crowds during the winter months.
Strep throat? We can help
At 7 Days Pediatrics, your sick child will see a real pediatrician whatever day of the week you bring them to the office. We offer exceptionally skilled and compassionate care for both acute and chronic conditions, as well as provide immunizations, well-child check-ups, and more.
Call us at (732) 548-3210 to schedule an appointment with one of our children's doctors. We have two offices in Edison and one in South Plainfield.