Strep throat is most likely to occur in children of 5 to 15 years. However, even children who are below 2 years old can get infected with Strep throat, but the chances are quite rare. The primary cause is a bacterial infection. It is of two types: if it involves the pharynx, it is called strep pharyngitis, and if the infection involves the tonsils, it is called Strep tonsillitis. Usually, pediatrics in Kolkata advise parents to maintain good hygiene and a healthy diet for the child to prevent the chances of getting infected by Strep throat. There is no vaccination available to date to prevent Strep throat, but early detection can help to get cured easily. Let’s get to know how you can detect Strep Throat in your child and the steps that should be taken to get them relief immediately.
What are the symptoms of Strep Throat?
The symptoms that will help you to identify whether your child is suffering from a Strep throat infection are:
- Pain and discount felt within the throat.
- Having a raw feeling or not getting a proper sensation of the throat.
- Solenness of the throat as the pain gets worse.
- Fever, stomach pain and vomiting all together.
- Severe headache that lasts for a long time.
- Painful or swollen neck glands.
- Scarlet fever rash and this is also known as a sandpaper-like rash.
If the throat is monitored using light, it will show a bright red swollen lump, as well as the tonsils will get covered with pus and appear to be reddish.
How to diagnose Strep Throat?
If you notice more than 3-4 symptoms mentioned above, then it is time to take your child to pediatrics in Kolkata. At first, the doctor will conduct a physical examination and then a test will be suggested to get a confirmation about the infection.
To diagnose the problem, various throat secretions are taken, and a Strep test is done. It is also called the Rapid Strep test, where a cotton swab is used to take the sample from the throat, usually in the form of liquid. It takes merely 5 minutes to get the results.
If the result is positive, then the samples will be sent for a throat culture whose results you can get within 2 to 3 days.
What if Strep throat is left undiagnosed?
If you ignore the problem and think that Strep throat is quite similar to a common cold, then you are completely wrong. It can turn critical over time:
- It can lead to struggling in breathing, or even the child can clearly speak or cry.
- It will lead to difficulty swallowing the liquid.
- A stiffness is noticed in and around the neck.
- The child is unable to move the neck like normally they do.
- Dehydration is quite suspected.
- The child may have no urine or dark urine.
- Dehydration in the child can lead to a very dry mouth or no tears.
- Fever can reach up to 104 Fahrenheit.
- There is no eagerness to drink water for more than 8 hours
- Can’t open their mouth at all or are half open.
Other than these, the child can faint or even be too weak to stand. You can also notice that the child has purple or blood color spots on the body, along with a high fever. A strep throat infection can become a life-threatening emergency if the doctor is not called on time.
How do you understand whether it is just a common cold or Strep throat?
The common cold occurs due to viral infections and mostly due to seasonal changes. It lasts about 4-5 days without any severe symptoms. You might notice a fever and a runny nose. It can be prevented by taking proper precautions. However, pediatrics in Kolkata can help you to get a clear idea.
The Strep throat symptoms usually start showing within about 3 days, and the child gets trouble swallowing, headache, general discount, loss of appetite, nausea, rashes, etc. These symptoms are completely missing during the common cold.
Is Strep throat infectious?
Strep throat is very infectious and one of the most contagious diseases. It mostly spreads among school-aged or teenage children. It has a high chance of occurring during winter and early spring. Even a simple handshake or sneezing can lead to the spread of the infection.
Maintaining proper hygiene and washing hands before eating can help to prevent the spread of a Strep throat infection. Moreover, it is advised to keep the child at home under complete supervision for at least 3 weeks till they get completely cured. Otherwise, they have the chance to spread the infection among their peers or classmates.
Even the adults who are taking care of the infected child have a high chance of getting infected. Every crowded area, be it daycare center, schools, or activity camps, increases the probability of spreading the disease.
How to take care of the child during Strep throat?
There are various complications associated with Strep throat. So, it is highly recommended to consult with pediatrics in Kolkata. You need to go by the prescribed antibiotics and not overlook the symptoms. The medicines must be continued till the child gets relief from the pain or gets completely cured.
If the child is over 1 year, then they can shift to a liquid diet that includes chicken broth. If the child is above 6 years, then they can be given lollipops, ice creams, etc. Moreover, if the child is above 8 years, then they are prescribed to gargle with warm water, along with a little bit of salt added to it.
Medicines prescribed during Strep throat
Usually, to subdue the pain, acetaminophen is prescribed, along with Ibuprofen. This helps to fight the infection and reduces the fever. Further, you need to keep a child hydrated from time to time. You need to keep persuading the child to drink adequate fluid, be it in the form of milkshakes or soup.
It is very much important to maintain a healthy diet that includes a proper proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. In this case, it is usually advised to avoid salty and spicy foods, such as fries, oily food, cold drinks, etc. The doctor prescribes a soft diet where the food has to be broken into simple pieces so that the child has no problem ingesting them.
Strep throat can be cured easily, and all you need to do is follow proper precautions. It is always advised to take the child to a pediatrician if the symptoms appear to be complicated. You can book an appointment with the pediatrics in Kolkata associated with ILS Hospitals. They have been in this field for years and understand the concern and treat the disease accordingly.