Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat

iStock_000055726670_Large.jpgWhen your child has a sore throat, you want to do anything you can to make him or her feel better. Determining the cause of the sore throat is key to receiving treatment. While a sore throat can be something as minor as the common cold, it can also be a bacterial infection like strep throat.

Sore Throat With a Cold

Most commonly, a virus is the cause behind a sore throat. Typically, the sore throat will come with additional symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Unfortunately, if your child has a cold, there is no cure; however, there are ways you can help alleviate the pain. Serve your child warm liquids, have him or her gargle warm salt water and take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Strep Throat

While a virus causes the common cold, strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection. Most common in children 5-15 years old, strep throat is spread when children are in contact with an infected person’s saliva or nasal secretions. Strep throat symptoms are usually more severe than a sore throat with a cold. Loss of appetite, fever and white spots inside the throat are all common signs of strep throat. If your child is diagnosed with strep throat, an antibiotic will be prescribed to kill the bacteria. It takes a day or two before your child will begin to feel better once he or she starts taking an antibiotic.

If your child has a sore throat, visit your local Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care. Designed exclusively to meet the needs of children, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent provides quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit.

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