Illness: Sore Throat, Strep Throat
The majority of sore throats that babies experience are caused by the irritating phlegm or cough that accompanies allergies, a cold, or another respiratory infection. Thus, most sore throats resolve on their own, as do the accompanying symptoms.
The most common condition that specifically infects the throat is strep throat. Strep is a bacterial infection caused by group A streptococcus, usually present in the fall and winter. It is spread through saliva and nasal secretions. Left untreated, strep can lead to more serious conditions, such as scarlet fever, blood infections, kidney disease, and rheumatic fever. You must see your health care provider to have strep diagnosed, and it can be treated with antibiotics, as well as Chinese herbs and acupuncture.
Sore Throat, Strep Throat: Symptoms
Symptoms of sore throat along with cold, flu, other virus, or allergies can present as follows:
- Throat pain
- Throat redness
- Swollen lymph nodes or tonsils
- Body aches
- Runny nose
Strep throat may present as follows:
- Throat pain that worsens as day goes on
- Abdominal pain (very common)
- Red spots on the palate
- Red patches with white patches (pus) on tonsils and back of throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Pain with swallowing
- Low appetite
- Muscle aches and pain; neck pain
- Nasal congestion
- Rash on torso (most common in children more than three years old)
Sore Throat, Strep Throat: Causes
- Common cold, flu, or other virus
- Bacteria, including group A streptococcus
- Dry air
Sore Throat, Strep Throat: Prevention
- Make sure your hands are clean before touching your baby. Teach your child to wash her hands frequently, as well.
- During the cold and flu season, replace toothbrushes monthly. After a bout with strep, replace your child’s toothbrush immediately to prevent reinfection.
- Keep play groups small during cold and flu season.
- Keep the air in your home at a good humidity level, and make sure it is pollutant-free (be mindful of wood smoke, chemical smells from cleaning products, and cigarette smoke).
- Outdoors, protect your child’s throat from the wind and cold with a scarf.
Sore Throat, Strep Throat: Suggestions for Care
Since most sore throats accompany colds and upper respiratory illnesses and resolve along with the illness, they do not require medical attention. However, they do require attention at home. Keep your baby rested and well-hydrated. In addition to giving her fluids, be sure her room is humid enough. If necessary, use a humidifier to keep the air she breathes moist so that it does not irritate her throat.
If you suspect strep throat, call your health care provider to have a strep test done. Once strep is confirmed, Western practitioners will likely offer treatment with antibiotics. If you prefer an alternative to antibiotics, both Chinese herbs and acupuncture can treat strep throat.
Food and Remedies for Nursing Mother or Baby Older than Six Months
Use foods to nourish your baby and to soothe her throat.
- Ginger compress on throat and neck
Foods to Emphasize
Foods to Avoid
Cold foods, dairy products, fried and greasy foods, sugar, sweets, and refined carbohydrates.
Essential Oils for Baby
Acupoints for Baby
- Stomach 36
- Spleen 3
- Heart Governor 6
Reiki for Baby
For two or more minutes, place your hands on the following parts of your child’s body: front and back of neck.
Massage for Baby
Calm your baby with gentle strokes on her back, head, arms, and legs.
Sore Throat, Strep Throat: Concerns
The majority of your child’s sore throats will disappear along with the illnesses that caused them. However, on occasion, a sore throat can be a sign of a condition that requires medical attention. Contact your health care provider if your child displays symptoms of strep throat, refuses to drink due to throat pain, has swollen glands that are getting bigger, or has a fever or abdominal pain in addition to her sore throat.
Did you try these treatments at home? Share you experience in the comments below!
Note: The suggestions and ideas in this article are not intended to take the place of professional guidance or treatment; they are meant to complement the advice of your child’s health care provider, caretakers, and educators, while offering consolidated information to help you develop your intuition and make choices that fit with your own personal, religious, or spiritual philosophies. There is no guarantee as to the effects of the use of the recommendations and no liabilities can be taken.