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Strep Throat in Kids

Up to 30 percent of throat infections diagnosed in children between the ages of 5 and 15 are the result of strep throat. Kids with this particular throat infection will typically have at least two out of four of these signs or symptoms:
  • A red and painful throat that begins suddenly
  • A fever above 101ºF (38.3ºC)
  • Red and enlarged tonsils -- there may also be white patches of pus on the tonsils or in the throat
  • Tender or swollen lymph glands in the neck.
Treatment options for kids with strep throat generally involve antibiotics. In most adults, penicillin is the typical antibiotic of choice for treating strep throat. It is effective, safe, and inexpensive.
Children may be prescribed amoxicillin instead of penicillin. The liquid form of amoxicillin is easier for children to swallow and can also help treat a coexisting middle ear infection (otitis media), which occurs in up to 15 percent of children diagnosed with strep throat.
(Click Strep Throat in Children for more information on how kids with strep throat are diagnosed and treated. This article also discusses the cause of strep throat, explains how to prevent spreading the infection, and covers when to seek help from a healthcare provider.)
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