With kids back to school and the weather starting to get cooler, it’s only a matter of time before someone comes home with a nasty cough or a sore throat. While in the best of cases it’s just a pesky cold that will go away on its own with a bit of rest and Vitamin C, there’s always the chance that it could be something worse that will require medical attention.
A common possibility? Strep throat. This all-too-common illness is never fun, but when treated quickly, it shouldn’t take long for kids to start feeling better again.
Strep Throat Symptoms
Strep throat is an infection of the throat that is caused by bacteria. It is most common for children from ages 5-10, but can also occur in teens and adults. Symptoms can vary depending on the case, but usually include an incredibly sore throat, fever, and headaches. Often strep throat can be so painful that sufferer will have trouble swallowing and may also feel nauseous and avoid consuming food or liquids.
When to See a Doctor
A scratchy throat or fever could be a sign of strep throat or could just be a cold. In the case it is a cold or flu, most patients will not need to seek medical attention, but merely rest or take some over the counter pain medication until conditions improve. When should you see a doctor, then? If your symptoms persist for more than two days you likely want to see a medical professional. Likewise, strep throat can often be identified with the appearance of white patches or red inflammation on the tonsils and back of the mouth. If your child is refusing to eat due to difficulty swallowing or has trouble breathing, these are also appropriate times to seek medical attention.
Strep Throat Treatment
If your child does have strep throat, he or she will likely need to take an antibiotic. While the antibiotic prescription your doctor prescribes will likely be for several days and up to a week, most patients begin to get relief within the first few days of treatment. In addition to taking antibiotics, it’s a good idea to drink plenty of fluids, use cough drops, and take over the counter pain medications to help keep discomfort in check. A combination of rest, self-care, and antibiotics will likely have your child feeling back to normal in a few days. If symptoms persist even after medical treatment, take your child in for additional diagnosis.
Finding a Qualified Urgent Care Center
Strep throat is never something you see coming, and it’s impossible to plan for. When it does show up, you will want to get your child treatment as soon as possible. Your local urgent care center can be a great option when it comes to testing and treating strep throat quickly and effectively, with no appointment need. Check online to find a qualified and highly regarded urgent care center near you, and take basic precautions to protect against all kinds of common illnesses this winter!