Why Do Some Kids Get Strep Throat More Than Others?

strep throat

Dear Dr. Manny,

My kids keep getting sore throats in the winter. I can’t help but wonder. How do I know if they get strep throat? When do I need to get them tested by a doctor? 

Not all sore throats are the same. Some of them are related to allergies, some sore throats are from colds, and some of them are caused by the streptococcus bacteria. 

You can’t verify for sure if you or your child has strep throat without going to see your doctor. 

A sore throat that comes with a cold usually comes with a slew of respiratory ailments. Runny noses, coughs, sneezing, and watery eyes are all signs of a cold, not strep throat. 

Strep comes suddenly. It’s a sore throat, with red tonsils, white spots on the tonsils, pain when swallowing, fever, swollen neck glands, loss of appetite, headaches, and abdominal pain. 

If you have any of these symptoms, check with a doctor. They can do a simple swab to verify. But its important that you treat strep with antibiotics. 

Strep Throat is common in all ages, but it happens more with children than adults. Strep Throat can also be worse in children. 

Some kids get strep more than others, because they have a genetic weakness to Strep A. There are two different gene variations that make it difficult for the body to fight off strep. Typically, those children also developed tonsillitis. 

Soothing a strep throat involves lots of rest and fluids. Gargling with salt water can help to bring down inflammation in the throat. Eat easy to swallow foods like mashed potatoes and applesauce. Use a humidifier. 

Prevention of strep throat can be as easy as washing your hands before you eat. It can also involve cleaning the house frequently, especially the bathroom.

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