A mild sore throat without fever can be treated with warm salt water gargles, throat lozenges, acetaminophen (Tylenol, see dosing guide) or Chloroseptic spray. If fever is present with a sore throat or if the sore throat is severe, your child should be evaluated in the office to have a test for strep throat. Untreated sore throats due to the strep bacteria (Group A streptococci) can cause Rheumatic Fever, a serious inflammatory disease of the heart, joints, skin and brain. Antibiotics can prevent Rheumatic Fever. So, it’s important to treat a sore throat caused by strep.
If your child is diagnosed with strep throat, it is important to throw away your child’s toothbrush after 24 hours on the antibiotic. The bacteria can live on surfaces and can re-contaminate your child with the bacteria. Use Lysol or dilute bleach to clean the area where your child brushes her teeth. Also, wash any dishes that your child may have used in hot water.
Because ibuprofen has been rarely associated with a severe complication of Group A strep infections called necrotizing fasciitis, you should not use ibuprofen for strep throat. In addition, ibuprofen should not be used in Chicken pox infections which can also cause an increase in Group A streptococcal infections for the same reasons.
Reviewed by Dr. Byrum on 3/22/2017