image001The Streptococcus bacterium causes the infection known as Strep throat. This infection has its unique symptoms that are very distinctive in nature. Babies who get strep throat usually experience nausea, headache, stomachache, fatigue and most importantly pain in their throat whenever they want to swallow. Babies are not capable of showing strep throat signs. Therefore, you must pay attention to the fact that the infant is sick and there is a chance that he might be suffering from strep throat.

Can Babies Get Strep Throat?

Strep throat basically is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium which inflames the tonsils, the tissues located behind the nose known as the adenoids, and even the back portion of the throat. Babies and preschoolers are not usually prone to develop strep throat symptoms since it affects school-going kids more often. Still it is important to know the symptoms so that if anyone else in your family has them, you know that it is strep throat.

The virus is usually considered the main reason behind sore throat. However, strep throat is different as it is caused by a group of bacteria known as Streptococcus. The most common way for an infant to catch strep throat is to come in contact with a carrier of the bacteria. This can happen if the strep throat patient handles something which is then used by the baby. The symptoms of strep throat can last for almost a week unless antibiotics are used which can tone down the severity.

Even though it is possible for babies to develop strep throat, the chances are very rare. The reason for this is that being a bacterial infection, strep throat can only be contracted by coming in contact with an infected person. Since the babies do not go out much, they are at less of a risk to develop strep throat. School-going children, however, are more susceptible to this bacterium since they come in contact with a lot of people on a daily basis in school who may be carrying it. Even when babies do become affected with strep throat, it is mostly because one of the family members, who had the disease, transmitted it to the baby.

What Are the Symptoms If Babies Get Strep Throats?

Usually the symptoms of strep throat that are displayed by adults and teenagers include inflamed tonsils and clear red patches in the throat region. The symptoms of strep throat in younger children such as toddlers and babies are different.

1. Babies

Rashes on the legs and torso, inability to swallow milk through bottle, fever, irritability and lack of sleep.

2. Toddlers

Irritability, fever, sleeplessness, enlargement of the neck glands, tummy ache and loss of appetite, having a sickening feeling and bloody discharge from the nose.

How to Know Strep Throat at Home

How to know


White or red patches inside his/her throat

Open your child’s mouth and start looking for any white or red patches inside his/her throat.

Swelling in the throat

There might be signs of swelling in the throat as well. The white patches you find can be down to the pus that has been produced by the infection.

Swollen chin

The lymph nodes present under the child’s chin becomes swollen due to strep throat as the nodes try to fight the bacteria by trapping it inside them. Thus, check if your child’s lymph nodes have swollen or not.


Check for fever and record the child’s temperature using a thermometer.


Monitor any signs of vomiting that might be caused due to the nausea and stomachache experienced by the child.

Irritable behavior

Check if the baby does not want to feed or is displaying irritable behavior which can be a result of the soreness in his/her throat.

Important Notes:

The child is most likely to get strep throat from an infected family member, so check if any other member of the house has symptoms of strep.

What to Do When Babies Get Strep Throat

If the symptoms of strep throat are identified in the baby, you should call the doctor immediately. Strep throat symptoms do not go away on their own. Therefore, it has to be dealt with or it can end up causing kidney diseases to the baby. In order to get an accurate diagnosis, the doctor is going to order a throat culture of the baby which would determine whether he has actually been affected by the Streptococcus bacteria or not. If the test results indicate that the child’s sore throat is strep, then the doctor is going to start a course of antibiotics which should be continued even if the baby’s symptoms improve.

Give the child plenty of fluids and ask him to put less strain on his throat by limiting the use of his voice. You can also give painkillers to the toddler if he is experiencing a lot of pain in his throat. Installing a cool-mist humidifier in his room is another way of helping him breathe easily without hurting the throat.

When to See a Doctor

If you suspect that your child might be suffering from any of these symptoms of strep throat, you should contact a doctor immediately:

  • If the fever of your child becomes greater than 101.5 °F or for infants who are less than three months old, a fever of even 100.4 °F.
  • A red rash
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • No improvement in the symptoms even after 48 hours of antibiotic use
  • Presence of a rash or swelling in the joints even after the strep throat infection has been cured.

How to Prevent Children’s Strep Throat

Keeping your child’s hands clean is a great way of preventing the child from catching strep throat bacteria. Limiting the child’s outdoor activities during spring and autumn can also help him in avoiding the strep throat bacteria. Moreover, teach him to not touch his nose, mouth or eyes with hands since the bacteria can enter the body this way. Make sure that you replace your child’s toothbrush as soon as his strep throat symptoms diminish as it would prevent any chances of recurrence.

Want to get more information about strep throat in children? Check out the video below: