Streptococal infection

Streptococcal infections, or strep infections, are caused by bacteria that your child gets from someone who is already sick with the illness. Kids with strep usually have a very sore throat and a fever. Strep germs are very contagious and are best avoided by washing hands and staying away from sick people. Most strep illnesses happen in autumn, winter, and spring, but your child can pick the illness up from anyone who is sick from it.

What causes strep infections?

Streptococcal infections are caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A streptococcus. These germs can be spread from child to child by sneezing, coughing and talking. Strep germs can also live long enough on objects like doorknobs, toys, cups, and eating utensils for kids to get them that way too.

Are they serious?

Strep throat can be serious if you don’t have your child treated. Strep bacteria can move from the throat and cause other infections like scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, ear infections, and kidney infections.

Can I prevent strep infections?

Yes, wash your hands! Kids need to be taught to wash their hands thoroughly for at least ten seconds, as well as how to cover their mouths and noses when they sneeze or cough. These good habits can prevent your child from getting or spreading streptococcal infections.

How do I know if my child has a streptococcal infection?

Kids with a streptococcal infection have a red, sore throat with pus around the tonsils. They sometimes have red or white spots in their mouth or throat. Your child might also have a fever, chills, and he might be nauseous or vomit.

How do I treat them?

Strep infections have to be treated with antibiotics because they are caused by bacteria. At home, you can make your child feel better by giving him over the counter pain relief such as ibuprofen and paracaetamol  and making sure he gets lots of bed rest and fluids.  Ibuprofen will help with pain, swelling and inflammation and paracetamol will help with He might have trouble swallowing because his throat is sore, so give him soft foods like applesauce, soup and iceblocks. Keep him home from school or childcare until he feels better and he has been treated with antibiotics for at least one day.

Should I call the doctor?

Because streptococcal infections can lead to more serious illnesses, you should always make an appointment to see the doctor if you think your child has one. You should also contact the doctor if your child’s fever is very high or if he is taking antibiotics but doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

What you need to know about streptococcal infections

  • Streptococcal infections are caused by bacteria.
  • Kids with strep infections usually have a very sore throat and a fever.
  • Streptococcal infections are treated with antibiotics.
  • Strep infections can lead to more serious illnesses, so you should see your child’s doctor for treatment.



  1. Jen_Wiig 27/10/2017 at 12:50 pm

    My poor little man Mykah had Strep throat for first and hopefully inly time a couple if weeks ago…it was actually really scary because he wouldnt move his neck at all and complained if veey sore head and the light making his eyes hurt…all signs if meningitis. We took him to local A and E and they were wonderful and gave us a good run down on what Strep was and gave us antibiotics and advised to buy nurophen…he was pretty miserable for 10 days but loved the fa t he could have lemonade ice blocks several times a day. His throat and Glands were so swollen that it had stopped hom from being able to turn his head the poor kid 🙁 glad we are past it now but cant believe how catchy it must be as he doesnt attend kindy yet and we are home most days so quite possibly been brought home from school by bigger bros?

  2. Angelgirl081 05/10/2017 at 5:30 pm

    Eeeeek sounds sore. Good to know though. We haven’t encountered it yet (touch wood). But have had mild sore throats.

  3. Jaqui 02/10/2017 at 7:06 pm

    I think it is so so important to get any sore throat checked by a doctor, even if the child does not look overly unwell. The risk of untreated strep throat causing rheumatic fever is scary! Without anntibiotics strep throat will not go away and can cause some real potential health problems! My daughter has had strep throat, I asked for a throat swab so if it was negative for strep I could cease using antibiotics unnecessarily

  4. SarahBlair 02/10/2017 at 4:04 pm

    My kids often complain of sore throats, being wary of strep throat and the complications that can come from it I take them to the doctors but luckily they haven’t had it!!

  5. kymmage 02/10/2017 at 7:28 am

    My eldest learnt at school to sing the happy birthday song as she washes her hands. So she soaps her hands for the song, then she sings it again as she rinses her hands off. She does it in her head now, but is always very thorough for washing her hands. We are trying to teach her younger sister to do it too. Our youngest is always picking illnesses up. Strep sounds awful, but now I know what to look for! Thankfully, going to the doctor for primary-age kids is relatively low drama.

  6. Bevik1971 02/10/2017 at 7:13 am

    Our 4 year old thankfully hasn’t had a Strep throat illness, being at Kindy etc they generally get everything that’s going! My hubby is Stay-at-home Dad and he does the cleaning at home, he is always disinfecting the door handles and light switches etc and we always wash our hands when we get home from being out and about or before eating etc, so maybe that has made a difference 🙂

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