Is this your child's symptom?
- Close contact with someone who has a Strep throat infection.
- Close contact means living in the same house with the infected person. It also includes close physical contact such as having a kissing relationship.
Strep Exposure (Close Contact)
- Household Close Contact. Lives with a person whose Strep test was positive. This can be a sibling, parent, or other household member.
- Kissing relationship with someone (boyfriend, girlfriend) who has a positive Strep test.
- Close contact should be within 10 days of onset of symptoms in exposed child. Reason: time from contact to Strep symptoms usually is 2 to 5 days.
- Throat cultures and rapid Strep tests aren't urgent. Most can be done in your doctor's office.
Types of Limited Contact with Strep
- Contact with someone outside the home with a positive Strep test. This type of contact occurs at school.
- Sometimes, the contact is with someone who was treated for Strep without testing.
- If fever is gone, children taking antibiotics for at least 12 hours do not spread Strep to others.
Treatment for Contacts With Symptoms (Pending a Strep Test)
- What You Should Know About Strep Exposure and Sore Throats:
- A Strep test is not urgent.
- It could be a Strep throat or just a viral infection of the throat.
- A sore throat is often part of a cold.
- Until you get a Strep test, here is some care advice that should help.
- Sore Throat Relief:
- Age over 1 year. Can sip warm fluids such as chicken broth or apple juice. Some children prefer cold foods such as popsicles or ice cream.
- Age over 6 years. Can also suck on hard candy or lollipops. Butterscotch seems to help.
- Age over 8 years. Can also gargle. Use warm water with a little table salt added. A liquid antacid can be added instead of salt. Use Mylanta or the store brand. No prescription is needed.
- Medicated throat sprays or lozenges are generally not helpful.
- Pain Medicine:
- Fever Medicine:
- Fluids and Soft Diet:
- Try to get your child to drink adequate fluids.
- Goal: keep your child well hydrated.
- Cold drinks, milk shakes, popsicles, slushes, and sherbet are good choices.
- Solids. Offer a soft diet. Also avoid foods that need much chewing. Avoid citrus, salty, or spicy foods. Note: Fluid intake is much more important than eating any solids.
- Swollen tonsils can make some solid foods hard to swallow.
- Return to School:
- Your child may have a Strep throat infection. Wait for the result of the rapid Strep test. If it is negative, your child can go back to school.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Your child becomes worse
Treatment for Contacts Without Symptoms
- What You Should Know About Strep Exposure Without Symptoms:
- Many children have contact with someone with Strep throat. Most will not come down with an infection. This is especially true if the contact occurs outside the home.
- Strep tests are not needed for children without any symptoms.
- Time It Takes to Get Strep Throat:
- Time from contact to Strep symptoms usually is 2 to 5 days.
- Return to School:
- If your child has no symptoms, he does not need to miss any school.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Your child gets any Strep symptoms in the next 7 days
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.
When to see a Doctor
Call 911 Now
- Severe trouble breathing (struggling for each breath; can barely speak or cry)
Call Doctor or Seek Care Now
- Stiff neck or can't move neck like normal
- Great trouble swallowing fluids or spit
- Trouble breathing, but not severe
- Fever over 104° F (40° C)
- Dehydration suspected. No urine in more than 8 hours, dark urine, very dry mouth and no tears.
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent. Note: a Strep test alone is not urgent.
Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours
- Sore throat pain is severe and not better 2 hours after taking ibuprofen
- Age less than 1 year old
- Earache or sinus pain (not just congestion)
- Mild symptoms that could be from Strep throat. (Some are sore throat, cries during feeds, large lymph nodes in the neck, fever)
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent (or needs a Strep test)
Contact Doctor During Office Hours
- You have other questions or concerns
Self Care at Home
- Strep contact but no symptoms
If NOT, try one of these:
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.