Strep throat is an infection caused by bacteria called group A Streptococcus. This type of infection can cause scarlet fever, an infection that produces a red rash on the body and flu-like symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • With scarlet fever, red rash with a sandpapery texture over the entire body

How does it spread?

  • Direct contact
  • Indirect contact with germs from the nose or mouth (on hands, toys, tissues, etc.)
  • Droplets transmission (when a child coughs or sneezes and droplets reach other children who are close by)

What can you do as a parent to help your child?

  • Washing your hands and your child’s hands is the best thing that you can do to stop the spread of germs
  • Teach your child to cover his mouth with a tissue or with his sleeve or elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • If your child has a fever, give acetaminophen (such as Tempra®) or ibuprofen. The Canadian Paediatric Society does not recommend giving ibuprofen to babies under 6 months old without first talking to your physician
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and fluids
  • Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat
  • Keep your child home from child care or school until he or she has taken the antibiotic for at least one full day
  • See your doctor; strep throat is treated with an antibiotic
  • Your child should take all the medication prescribed by the doctor, even if the signs of illness have gone away