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With kids in school it seems like something is always going around.
If you hear the ominous, "my throat hurts," there are a few easy ways to make sure a sore throat doesn't keep your kids down for too long.
There are a few ways to help ease the discomfort of a sore throat:
Sip warm liquids — like a tea or broth
Gargle with ¼ teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water (if your kids are old enough and coordinated enough to gargle)
Eat cold or frozen liquids, like ice pops
Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed
What if it's strep?
Strep throat can spread easily, so if it has been going around the classroom, there's a chance your child's sore throat may be strep. But keep in mind while a sore throat can be a sign of strep throat, having a sore throat does not always mean it is strep. There are a few tell-tale signs to look out for:
Sudden sore throat
Severe throat pain
Red and white patches in the throat
Tender or swollen glands in the neck
If there's a runny nose, cough or red eyes, chances are it's a virus but not strep. The only way to know for sure is by having a strep test. Often, doctors will run a rapid stress test that returns results quickly. Even if that comes back negative, there is still a chance that strep may be present. If your child tests positive, your healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic. And, as with all colds and viruses — the best prevention is to wash hands frequently, avoid sharing utensils or drinking from the same containers, and cover coughs and sneezes.