Strep throat is a common childhood illness and it can be easily passed throughout the household. A combination of medical treatment and home-care tactics can improve your child's well-being and prevent the spread of infection.
Take Sore Throats Seriously
Although a simple sore throat is usually not concerning, because it may accompany other conditions such as the common cold or seasonal flu, be concerned if your child experiences significant symptoms or is not soothed by simple remedies. For example, a basic sore throat may respond to over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen and throat lozenges. Strep throat can make it impossible to eat or drink because the throat is severely painful and swollen.
Additionally, look for indications that your child's tonsils are enlarged or there are white spots coating the tonsils. If anything is concerning, speak with your child's doctor. They will likely prescribe a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics and do a throat culture. If the throat culture comes back positive for strep and their current antibiotic regimen will work for this bacteria, they will remain on the same treatment. Otherwise, your doctor will change the antibiotic and ask for a follow-up visit.
Do Extra Sanitation Measures
You may want to use extra sanitation measures when your child has strep throat. For example, dishes that are not sufficiently cleaned after meals could facilitate the spread of strep through your home. When you wash dishes, whether by hand or using a dishwasher, use an antibacterial dish soap and hot water. For hand washing, allow the dishes to soak in hot water and antibacterial soap until they are cool enough to handle and finish washing. If you do not have antibacterial soap, a splash of chlorine bleach is safe to add to your dishwater. Allow the dishes to soak in the water and bleach solution, then finish washing them as normal.
Keep Your Child's Contact With Others To A Minimum
Contact with other children and adults during this time should be kept to a minimum, especially if your child is still at the age where they place items in their mouth or do not use practices to prevent the spread of illness, such as covering their mouth when coughing and using tissues to wipe their nose. If your child is school-age, being stringent about them going to school can impede their recovery and possibly spread the bacteria to others.
Allow your child to get as much rest as possible so to speed their recovery. In general, children heal quickly and will let you know when they are ready to resume normal activities. To err on the side of caution, gain clearance from their doctor to return to school. Even if your child seems mostly well, schools, daycare, and other facilities for children typically discourage them from attending if they are still running a fever or have other signs they could be infectious.
Although strep throat is a common illness, especially for children, most instances clear up without significant problems. When you have a child with strep, prompt treatment and preventing the bacteria from spreading is essential to managing the condition. For more information, contact a company like Ada Pediatrics PA.