Treatment for Contacts WITH Symptoms (Pending A Throat Culture)
Local Pain Relief:
- A throat culture isn't urgent.
- It could be a strep throat or just a viral infection of the throat.
- A sore throat is commonly part of a cold.
- Here are some ways to keep your child comfortable until you get a throat culture.
Pain Medicine: Give acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen for severe throat discomfort or fever above 102° F (39° C).
Soft Diet: Cold drinks and milk shakes are especially good (Reason: Swollen tonsils can make some foods hard to swallow).
Contagiousness: Your child may have a Strep throat infection and should avoid child care or school until the results of the throat culture are known.
Call Your Doctor If:
- Children over age 1 can sip warm chicken broth or apple juice.
- Children over age 6 can suck on hard candy (e.g., butterscotch) or lollipops.
- Children over age 8 can also gargle warm water with a little table salt or liquid antacid added.
Treatment for Contacts WITHOUT Symptoms
- Reassurance: Most children exposed to someone with strep throat do not come down with it, especially if exposure occurs outside the home. Throat cultures are unnecessary for children without any symptoms.
- Incubation Period: Most children who do catch strep develop some symptoms 2 to 5 days after exposure.
- Contagiousness: Your child does not need to miss any daycare or school.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Your child develops any strep symptoms in the next 7 days
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
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Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 6/1/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.