14 Ways to Help Your Child Be Comfortable with Strep Throat Symptoms

Seeing your child endure the symptoms of strep throat can be worrisome. The symptoms may be painful, causing discomfort. However, you can help your child feel comfortable by providing home care to alleviate the symptoms.

First things first, though. Make sure that you have consulted your healthcare provider for strep throat and that medical treatment has already started. The home remedies below can be used to complement medical treatment.

We at Omega Pediatrics recommend taking these steps. Parents play a vital role in helping their children make it through the symptoms of strep infection. Here are some specific steps to hasten recovery and promote healing for your child.

1.  Keep hydrated—with water, ORS, or apple juice.strep

Encourage your child to drink plenty of water to maintain hydration. Give them lots of liquid, in small amounts but more often. Keeping hydrated is crucial to help thin the mucus, keep the throat moist, and reduce inflammation, thus easing swallowing pain. 

Drinking at least 64 ounces or 8 cups, per day is recommended. Oral rehydration solutions, such as Pedialyte and diluted apple juice, are included to ease strep.

2.  Give cold fluids—popsicles, ice blocks, beverages, and juices.

The ice-cold feel of a sugar-free ice pop gives immediate relief. Homemade ice blocks with fresh fruit and water, or flavored water, can relieve, too. Cold drinks rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, like pomegranate juice, can hasten healing.

The cold or low temperature gives a “freezing” effect, masking the swollen throat cavity. With a stiff and frozen throat, the child will not readily feel the pain of swallowing—one of the distressing symptoms of strep infection.

Also, cold beverages should be unsweetened or have a low sugar content. For popsicles, look for pureed fruit or juice only. Make ice pops with antioxidant-rich fruits like blueberries and blend them with leafy greens like spinach and kiwi.

3.  Offer warm liquids—herbal or decaf tea, bone broth, apple cider.

Herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, dandelion, green tea, and caffeine-free tea are rich in antioxidants. Mixing with lemon is particularly soothing, reduces pain, and treats inflammation of the mucous membranes caused by the strep bacteria.

A warm bone broth is comforting, and the steam helps loosen congestion. It’s rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and glucosamine, which help reduce swelling and joint pain. Let your child drink warm bone broth throughout the day.

Sipping apple cider vinegar can help. It contains healing compounds like acetic acid, which can kill harmful streptococci while promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.

4.  Serve soft foods—eggs, oats, mashed potatoes, bananas, and yogurt.strep

Give soft foods that are easy to swallow yet packed with nutrients. Expect your child to have a low appetite while nursing the swollen throat from the strep.

  • Eggs are a source of protein and a good choice—easy on the throat. It contains vitamins A, D, zinc, and selenium. Cook it scrambled or soft-boiled.
  • Oatmeal and other hot cereals are fiber-rich foods. Oats are easy to digest. It contains zinc, magnesium, and antioxidants to curb inflammation. 
  • Mashed potatoes are high in potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B. The mushy texture is soothing and full of anti-inflammatory compounds. 
  • Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamins C and B6, which help in healing. Mashed bananas have antioxidants that give a nutritional boost.
  • Yogurt is a natural probiotic to help clear bacteria from the gut, regulating the immune system. It has vitamin A and is anti-inflammatory.

5.  Gargle with salty water.

Children 6 years and older can gargle without swallowing. Gargling with warm salt water or a baking soda-saltwater mixture can reduce swelling and relieve pain.

Also, swishing and gargling kill bacteria in the mouth, thus clearing the throat. Mix ½ teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Have your child swish and gargle the mixture 2-3 times daily, especially during the first few days of the strep infection.

Gargling with a baking soda mixture helps neutralize acids in your child’s mouth and protects against inflammation. Additionally, licorice root is an effective traditional method when mixed with water for gargling. This can be done several times a day.

6.  Make a smoothie.

Smoothies can make a complete meal. With your child’s low appetite, a smoothie or two per day can help meet their overall nutrient needs while soothing a sore throat from a strep infection.

With carefully planned ingredients for a smoothie, it provides healthy protein, good fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

7.  Give tart cherry juice.

Tart cherry juice is helpful since it fights off inflammation. Its key feature is that it naturally contains melatonin, helping your child induce restorative sleep and rest. Studies have shown melatonin improves sleep and oxidative stress.

8.  Give honey.

Honey is a natural antibacterial agent with anti-inflammatory properties. A spoonful with a squeeze of lime or lemon and tea or water can lessen pain and suppress a cough due to strep.

However, don’t give honey to babies under one year old due to the risk of infant botulism, a potentially life-threatening condition. Honey, like any processed food, is a proven source of the bacteria causing this dreaded condition in infants.

9.  Make use of ginger.

Ginger is another natural antibacterial agent. Ginger tea is best to help reduce pain and inflammation. Fresh ginger root is a potent antioxidant. It has health-promoting benefits aside from being anti-inflammatory.

Peel or grate the ginger and add it to chamomile tea, fruit pops, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and smoothies. It gives a soothing effect to the throat and hastens the healing of strep infections.

10. Consider marshmallow root.

Another natural remedy is marshmallow root. It has a gelatin-like substance that makes a protective coating for the throat, giving lubrication to ease pain and provide relief. Infusions can be done throughout the day, depending on the severity of the symptoms. 

11.  Give lozenges or throat sprays.

Throat, cough lozenges, and throat sprays can be administered to children aged 4 and above. However, don’t use throat sprays that contain benzocaine since this causes a drug reaction. Ensure you check the label for the product composition before using it.

Sage-echinacea throat spray can be used as needed for throat pain. It has medicinal properties for soothing relief.

Throat lozenges, though there are pediatric variants, don’t come in a fit-all dosage for children. Hence, read the label to determine if you have the right dose for your child. Use with caution when giving to young children due to the risk of choking.

Also, throat and cough lozenges come in different flavors, such as strawberry, orange, and grapes, making them enticing to suck for your school kid. It has a cooling effect on the throat, thus suppressing coughing and throat pain.

12. Use a humidifier.

A humidifier in the room where your child is resting can prevent dry air. The moisturized air can be more comfortable to breathe while your child recovers.

13. Encourage rest.

Ensure your child gets plenty of sleep and rest to help the body recover. Sleep is vital, allowing the body to rest while fighting the streptococcus bacteria. The number of natural killer cells decreases when the body doesn’t get enough sleep.

14. Monitor fever.

Over-the-counter medications for fever or throat pain are required if natural remedies aren’t working. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen for children can be given. Read the label to know the right dose for your child.

What to Avoid for Strep Throat

Since we have laid down some home remedies to help your child deal with strep throat symptoms, now we ought to know what to avoid. We must ascertain that the symptoms aren’t worsening and deviating your child from full recovery. 

It’s important to know what foods and drinks to avoid. Also, the environment that makes your child feel uncomfortable won’t foster but impede their recovery. These can irritate the throat and delay the healing process.

  • Sugary foods. These may have heavy sugar particles that will cling to the walls of the throat and mouth, causing coughing and irritation.
  • Acidic products, such as orange and tomato juices and vinegar. These contain acetic acid, which will irritate the sensitive mucus membrane.
  • Hard and crunchy foods, such as crackers or dry toast, make swallowing painful. Your child can easily feel the rigid and stiff contact with the walls of the swollen mucus.
  • Spicy foods contain harsh and peppery ingredients that aren’t friendly to sensitive mucus. This is very painful, causing undue stress.
  • Very hot foods and drinks. Very high temperatures of ingested food will result in scarring and tearing to the thin and sensitive throat membrane.
  • Fatty foods are hard to digest and sometimes hard to chew, adding more pain to swallowing.
  • Carbonated drinks. These are gaseous, impeding smooth digestion.
  • Alcohol and caffeine have unfavorable effects, further weakening the body cells during a time when the body is recovering from an illness.
  • Outdoor and congested areas, smoke, and pollution make the air dirty. These conditions will just aggravate the dryness of the throat. Better still, refrain from staying outdoors.

It should be emphasized that home remedies should not replace medical treatment. These should be done while your child takes the full course of antibiotics.strep

Now, if the symptoms show no improvement or are getting severe, despite the remedies and medications, don’t hesitate to book a follow-up appointment with your doctor. 

Help Your Child Recover from Strep Throat

Strep throat can cause serious complications if left untreated. From the time you become aware of your child’s symptoms until they fully recover, take care of them.

The aforementioned home remedies are designed to ease your child’s discomfort and make them feel more at ease while coping with the symptoms. We stress that these aren’t meant to take the place of medical treatment, though. 

We at Omega Pediatrics aim to provide holistic pediatric care. We fully understand how your child feels while enduring the symptoms. Hence, we hope that the home remedies presented will be a helpful guide for you, as parents of our young patients.

 

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