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Can infants get strep throat?

Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP


​​When baby gets a fever, both parents and pediatricians want to be sure a treatable source of infection is not missed. During this time, many parents ask if their baby could have strep throatThe short answer is that babies rarely need to be treated for strep throat.

In children over the age of 3, the bacteria that causes strep throat can cause significant complications if untreated. The bacteria can cause trouble in a child's kidneys, skin, and heart—the infection should not be missed! However, we don't see those complications in infants. Even if an infant may have evidence of the strep bacteria in his or her mouth, antibiotic treatment is not necessary.  

The good news that sore throats in infants are most commonly caused by common community viruses. With some pain reliever, rest, and good nutrition, most babies get better in a few days. Talk to your pediatrician to discuss what he or she recommends.

Additional Information from

Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP

Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP is a board-certified general pediatrician in Overland Park, KS. Within the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), she is a member of the Council on Communications and Media. If she is not in clinic, you will find her regularly sharing evidence-based child health information combined with her personal experience on and on Twitter @doctornatasha. She is fueled by her husband and two young children.

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The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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