Doctors and providers who treat this condition


Presumed Strep Throat (Infant/Toddler)

Your child may have strep throat. Strep throat is a bacterial infection. It is diagnosed by taking a sample from the back of your child’s throat. The sample is then looked at to see if strep bacteria are in it (throat culture). Cultures can be done quickly, while you are waiting at the doctor’s office or in the emergency department. Sometimes the quick test results don’t show for sure that your child has strep. Then the health care provider will order a standard throat culture. This test may take up to 2 days for results. 

This waiting period may be difficult for both you and your child. The provider may prescribe medicines to treat fever and pain. Because strep throat is very contagious, your child must stay home until the provider can confirm the diagnosis. Your child will be started on antibiotics right away once the diagnosis is confirmed.

Home care

Follow these guidelines when caring for your child at home:

  • The health care provider may have prescribed medicine to treat pain or fever. Follow the provider’s instructions for giving these medicines to your child. Antibiotics may also be prescribed. Be sure your child finishes all of this medicine as directed, even if he or she feels better.

  • Keep your child at home, away from family members and other people, until the provider confirms the diagnosis. Strep throat is very contagious.

  • Give your child plenty of time to rest. Try to make your child as comfortable as possible. Some children can be distracted from pain by quiet activities.

  • Encourage your child to drink liquids. Older children may prefer ice chips, cold drinks, frozen desserts, or popsicles. They may also like warm chicken soup or beverages with lemon and honey. Don’t give honey to children under 1 year of age. Don’t force your child to eat.

  • To help prevent catching or spreading infection, wash your hands well with soap and warm water often. Encourage family members and others in the household to wash hands often as well.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your child’s health care provider, or as advised.  Lab tests will be looked at. You will be told of any new findings that affect your child’s care.

When to seek medical advice

Call your child's health care provider right away if:

  • Your child is 3 months old or younger and has a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. Your child may need to see a health care provider.

  • Your child is of any age and has fevers higher than 104°F (40°C) that come back again and again

Also call your child's provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Symptoms don’t get better

  • Symptoms get worse

  • Trouble breathing, drinking, or swallowing

  • Earache or trouble hearing 


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