It's a common complaint, "Mom, my throat hurts."
But how do parents know if it's simply a virus or something
more, like strep throat?
"Group A streptococcus, or strep throat, is the cause of a sore
throat in about three out of every 10 children," says Josephine
Dlugopolski-Gach, pediatrician at Loyola University Health System.
"The difficult part is that strep doesn't always present in the
same way and some strep carriers are asymptomatic."
Many schools are seeing outbreaks of strep throat. Some students
are even being infected multiple times because "you don't become
immune to this infection so you can get it over and over again,"
If your child is sick, it is important to keep them at home.
"If they are diagnosed with strep a child needs to be on an
antibiotic and without a fever for 24 hours before going back to
school," Dlugopolski-Gach says.
Some common symptoms of strep throat include:
Other possible symptoms are:
It's unlikely that your child will get all of these symptoms.
Dluglopolski-Gach says one good indicator that they may have strep
is if they have recently come into contact with someone with strep,
but the only way to know for sure is to visit your doctor.
"A simple test in the office to determine if the infection is
viral or strep throat," says Dluglopolski-Gach.
Jackie is the digital editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Oak Park with her daughter and husband.
See more of Jackie's stories here.
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