Should My Child Get Tested for Strep?

Strep throat is very common among children between the ages of 5 and 15. In fact, it’s estimated that between the ages of 5 and 15, at least 15–40% of sore throat cases among children are actually caused by Streptococcus bacteria (strep throat).

If your child experiences strep throat symptoms, it’s important to make sure he or she gets tested! Our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah center explains why below.

How Can I Know If My Child Has Strep Throat?

Truthfully, the best way to know if your child has strep throat is by receiving a positive strep test, but there are some tell-tale signs that don’t involve getting tested.

A sore throat is one of the most common and first symptoms of strep throat. However, if your child experiences a sore throat along with a cough, he or she likely doesn’t have strep throat. An additional tell-tale sign of strep is bright red, swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus. If your child experiences any or all of the symptoms we’ve listed below, he or she likely has strep throat.

Common Strep Throat Symptoms

  • A sudden fever, especially if it’s 101˚F or higher
  • A sore, red throat with white patches
  • A headache
  • Chills
  • A loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Trouble swallowing

So When Should My Child Get Tested?

If your child has a sore throat and other strep throat symptoms, visit our AFC center! One of our doctors will do a rapid strep test in the office, using a cotton swab to take a sample of the fluids at the back of your child’s throat.

Even if your child doesn’t have strep throat symptoms and is experiencing symptoms that are related to the flu or COVID-19, our AFC center offers accurate rapid tests for those illnesses, too! Our rapid strep, flu and COVID-19 tests all provide accurate results in 15 minutes or less, and you don’t even need to make an appointment for your child to get one. If you are going to visit our AFC center for a rapid test, make sure your child avoids spreading germs to others.

Ways Your Child Can Prevent Germs From Spreading

  • Cover his or her nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
  • Discard used tissues in the trash as soon as possible.
  • Frequently wash his or her hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (the length of the “ABC song”).
  • Keep your child home if he or she has a cough and fever.
  • Don’t allow meal sharing.
  • Take your child to the doctor as soon as you can if he or she has a cough and fever.

No appointments are needed to get a rapid test, so visit our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team today!