Why does my child keep getting strep throat?

Why does my child keep getting strep throat?

As a parent, watching your child suffer from a bad case of strep throat is heart-wrenching, but it’s a nightmare when the infection occurs over and over.

Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by the Streptococcus bacteria, and it is common in children. Understanding the reasons why your child may be susceptible to repeated strep throat infections can help prevent future occurrences.

One of the main reasons is that strep throat is highly contagious and can be easily spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes or saliva when cups or utensils are shared with an infected person. Children who are in close contact with others, such as in school or daycare, are at a higher risk of contracting the infection.

Children who develop strep throat repeatedly may have contact with a carrier of strep, likely at home or in a child care setting — or they may be strep carriers themselves. A strep carrier is someone who has the strep-causing bacteria, but who is not having symptoms.

Other reasons are having taken an incomplete antibiotic course, having a failed antibiotic treatment course, or having a complication of Strep such as an abscess near the tonsils.

To prevent repeated strep throat infections, parents should encourage good hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing, not sharing cups and utensils, and avoiding close contact with sick people. Also, children should be taught to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze.

Treatment for strep throat is typically a course of antibiotics. Recurrent strep throat may be treated with a different antibiotic from the one prescribed originally. In some cases of recurrent strep, doctors may also test the child when they are not having any symptoms to see if they are a chronic carrier. In rare cases, surgery to remove the tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be recommended.

Strep throat is a painful condition that has potential serious complications if not treated promptly. By taking preventive measures and working with a pediatrician, you can help reduce the risk of repeated strep throat infections in your child.

Published on: 3/15/2023

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