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What Makes Kids More Susceptible to Strep Throat?

Anyone can get strep throat, a common bacterial infection caused by a germ known as group A Streptococcus. However, it’s more likely to occur in children than in adults.

In fact, strep throat is most likely to develop in children ages 5-15. It only rarely occurs in children under age 3.

Strep throat is extremely common. In fact, strep bacteria are responsible for almost one-third of all sore throats.

What makes kids more susceptible to strep? 

Here are some insights from Dr. Umesh Kodu and his team at Penguin Pediatrics PLLC

Exposure to lots of other kids

Infectious illnesses such as strep spread easily when many children are together in a confined space such as a school or daycare center.

The bacteria that cause strep spread through coughing and sneezing. When children breathe in airborne droplets expelled by someone who has strep, they may get sick, too.

Strep bacteria can also spread from person to person via shared eating utensils. Teach your children not to share straws, flatware, and glasses.

Lack of handwashing

Washing hands is one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs such as bacteria that cause strep throat. You can help your children avoid strep throat and other infectious illnesses by teaching them good handwashing habits.

Exposure to secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke irritates the throat and nasal passages and increases the risk of various types of respiratory infections, including strep throat. Keep your children away from secondhand smoke.

Time of the year

Strep throat can occur anytime. However, it’s more likely in winter and early spring, when children spend long periods of time together indoors.

Suspecting strep

Some signs and symptoms of strep throat include:

Although strep has common signs and symptoms, only a strep test can determine for sure whether your child has strep throat.

A simple, quick test known as a rapid strep test uses a swab to collect a sputum sample from your child’s throat. Results from a rapid strep test are available within a few minutes.

If your child has strep throat, prescription antibiotics can clear up the infection. Usually, antibiotics for strep throat begin to provide symptom relief within a day or two.

Don’t wait to have your child tested

At Penguin Pediatrics PLLC in Ashburn and Stone Ridge, Virginia, we offer fast and accurate in-office strep throat testing.

If you suspect strep throat, your child should be seen and tested quickly. If left untreated, strep throat could lead to potentially serious complications, such as kidney inflammation, rheumatic fever, or heart damage. Call our office to book a sick child appointment or use our online scheduler.

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