RVA Parenting: Strep can be more than just a sore throat

“Most people think of strep throat as just a sore throat,” says Dr. Jeff Bennett, D.O., FAAP of KidMed.

“Most classically, strep can be almost guaranteed, but not always, if you have a sore throat, white spots, and a big lymph node. That's pretty typical. But, a lot of kids don't even have a sore throat,” says Dr. Bennett.

Strep can present itself in many other ways.

“It's really is a great masquerader. You can just have a headache without a sore throat, vomiting, mid-abdominal pain, some of the kids will vomit repetitively,” says Dr. Bennett. Some kids get a skin rash, which can be what's called, scarlatina, or a sand-papery red rash on their chest and back, and it spreads. It can present in many different ways.

“The first minor treatment for group A strep, which is the bacteria that causes strep -- is Amoxicillin, plain Penicillin,” says Dr. Bennett. The common misnomer a lot of parents think is: “‘Well, it's not strong enough for my child because my child didn't get better from it,’ but in reality, all strep gets better just from plain old penicillin.”

For penicillin allergic kids, you can also use typically a cephalosporin such as Keflex, Ceftin or Omnicef, which a lot of people have used, says Dr. Bennett.

“People always say, “’Well, it didn't help.’ But, it's often for ear infection that it didn't help,” says Dr. Bennett. “Because strep ... There's three bacteria that typically cause ear infections and there can be resistant bacteria. So, the Amoxicillin didn't always get rid of their child's ear infections so they thought, ‘Okay, it's not strong enough for my child's strep throat.’ But, in reality there's not been any proven resistance to the strep bacteria with plain Penicillin or Amoxicillin.”

Sponsored Content by KidMed After Hours Pediatric Urgent Care.