Strep Throat in Kids

Strep throat in kids can be extremely uncomfortable and affect your whole family. KidsStreet Urgent Care is here to inform you on the symptoms, testing, treatment, and prevention methods for strep throat in children.

What is Strep?

Children generally present strep throat with a sore throat, causing discomfort and sometimes visible swelling of the lymph nodes.

Unlike the common sore throat that is usually caused by viral infections, strep throat is caused by a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus according to the CDC. This condition is very common in school-age children, but rare in kids younger than three years of age.

Strep Throat Symptoms in Children

Strep throat is uncomfortable and can cause issues with swallowing or eating. Common strep symptoms include:

  • Extremely sore throat

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Fever

  • Red and swollen throat

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • White patches on the tonsils

  • Red spots on the roof of the mouth 

  • Stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea

  • Headache

  • Rash

  • Loss of appetite

Coughing or sneezing are not symptoms of strep throat, and if your child is experiencing these symptoms they may be having a reaction to something other than strep throat.

How to Differentiate a Sore Throat From Strep Throat

Strep throat generally presents itself in a unique way that is different from many other sore throats.

A good indicator that your child may have strep throat is red and white patches on the back and sides of the throat.

Is Strep Throat Contagious?

Strep throat is very contagious and is normally spread through respiratory droplets (spit, snot, etc.). Though uncommon, you can also contract strep infection through direct contact with Group A Streptococcus on a person’s skin.

People who have been exposed to strep will begin having symptoms two to five days after exposure.

Testing For Strep Throat

A rapid strep test is the most common method for testing for this condition. A provider will gently swab both sides of the throat, then place the swab into a testing vessel. It takes ten to fifteen minutes to yield results.

Rapid strep tests are typically accurate, but in cases where results are inconclusive, your child’s provider may elect to send off for a throat culture. Similar to the rapid test, the provider will thoroughly swab the child’s throat. These results may take one to two days to yield results.

Is your child experiencing strep symptoms? It’s time to get them tested! KidsStreet Urgent Care offers strep testing in our children’s urgent care services.

Treating Strep Throat in Kids

Since strep is a bacterial infection, antibiotic treatment is used to fully rid the body of the infection. 

After the first day of antibiotics, your child is likely no longer contagious. You should still continue to administer the antibiotics as directed by the provider and continue to treat the other symptoms that are being caused by the infection, according to KidsHealth

If you believe your child has this condition, you should seek treatment sooner rather than later to ensure symptoms do not worsen. 

Additionally, we recommend these home remedies to help with symptoms: 


  • Over the counter pain and fever medications (Children’s Tylenol, Children’s Motrin, etc.). 
  • Drink warm liquids to soothe the throat.
  • Throat sprays to ease pain.
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest.
  • Drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. 
  • Use humidifiers in the child’s room.
  • Let the child eat a spoonful of honey to coat the inside of their throat. 
  • Gargle salt water. 
  • Eat soup and soft foods that are easy on the throat.

Preventing Strep Throat in Children

While there is no way to fully prevent a strep infection in your child, there are a few preventative measures you can take to reduce the chances of infection. Some best practices for preventing strep include: 

  • Keep your child away from others with the infection.
  • Wash your and your child’s hands frequently, especially during the winter months. 
  • Avoid touching your mouth and nose with unclean hands. 
  • Ensure all the utensils, plates, and cups your child eats off of and drinks from are fully disinfected. 

Additionally, if your child is experiencing symptoms of strep throat, it is imperative that you keep them home from school and other activities until they have finished their prescribed antibiotic treatment in full. This will help reduce the spread of the infection to others.

    Turn To KidsStreet Urgent Care

    Is strep throat affecting your household? KidsStreet is here to help your child heal and feel better fast!

    To visit one of our kid-friendly clinics, register online at your nearest location. By registering ahead of your visit, you and your child will be able to wait from your home or vehicle until we are ready to see you. That’s right – no long in-clinic wait!

    KidsStreet loves walk-in patients! We accept walk-ins each and every day, but please be aware that walk-in patients may experience longer in-clinic wait times. Patients are seen in the order that they register, and walk-ins are added to the same queue as those who register online.

    Why Choose KidsStreet urgent Care?

    Turn to KidsStreet Urgent Care for Your Urgent Care Needs

    Is your child suffering from strep throat signs and symptoms? KidsStreet Urgent Care is here to help. 

    KidsStreet Urgent care offers a kid-friendly atmosphere with experienced and professional staff. We want to get your children healing and feeling better.

    You can register online to secure a spot in line while waiting from your car or your home, and we will alert you via text message when we are ready for you. You will have 30 minutes from when we text you to make it into our office and check in with the front desk.

    Walk-ins are welcome, but we highly recommend registering online. This will reduce in-clinic wait times.