Myth Busting: Children under 2 CAN get Strep Throat |Building Our Story Yum

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Myth Busting: Children under 2 CAN get Strep Throat

Last weekend I found myself with chills, a fever, sore throat and a headache.  I instantly knew I had strep.  I got my antibiotics on Saturday morning and was held quarantined in our bedroom away from the kids until I was on the antibiotics for 24 hours.  Just hoping that the kids and hubby wouldn’t get it too! 

Well Sunday came and I was not contagious anymore…feeling pretty crappy still but able to see my kiddos!  Then Sunday afternoon Teagan started saying ouch a lot and seemed overly tired and hot.  She laid on Jeremy for a while and then we started noticing a rash start on her feet.  Oh goodness!  She has it…I knew it!  Because it was Sunday I called the “Ask a Nurse” to make sure we didn’t need to run to the afterhours care or if she could wait until Monday morning. 


The response and misdiagnosis I got over the phone was troubling.  This has led me to let you know about a Myth that Teagan has busted. 

*Disclosure – I AM NOT A DOCTOR, when you or your child show symptoms of any of the diseases described in this post please seek a doctor.  

Myth Busting: Children under 2 CAN get Strep Throat.  Can a child under 2 get Strep Throat?  Strep Throat in toddlers.  Strep throat symptoms in kids.

The nurse I talked to on the phone, among other family members and friends when I told them about the rash on Facebook, responded this way.  “She is under 2, she CANNOT get strep throat.”  Instead the nurse diagnosed Teagan with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease over the phone.  Told me it was viral, not a big deal, she will get over it.  Treat with Tylenol to ease her fever and pain. 

I got off the phone with her and was unsettled, in my heart I knew this was not Hand, Food, and Mouth disease…Teagan’s rash was ALL over her body and nothing near her mouth.  Didn’t add up.  I made the mommy decision that we will be taking her to the doctor because of my recent strep diagnosis and her rash and behavior. 

That night was rough.  She was not comfortable and her fever was still present even with Ibuprofen.  The next morning I got an appointment for her and we headed to the pediatrician.   I explained her symptoms and also told her about my recent diagnosis with Strep Throat.   I also informed her of what the nurse on the phone told me about Hand, Food, and Mouth Disease.  She said that due to the rash being all over Teagan’s body that it isn’t that. 

The pediatrician took her temperature – still at 100 (not bad), looked at the rash, (Blanching, good signs), and got Teagan to open her mouth to see the back of her throat (very red and irritated).  To be certain that it was strep and to rule out anything else she decided she had to run a rapid strep test on Teagan.  After gaging the poor girl, the swab came up quickly with a positive for Strep Throat. 

Teagan is on a round of Amoxicillin now for 10 days.  Fingers crossed that she doesn’t have the same allergic reaction as Jude!  Eek! 

So here we are, parents of a 19 month old with Strep Throat.  So yes it can happen.  Is it common?  No.  Myth Busted! 

Strep Throat in Toddlers

Some Symptoms to Watch For:
- Rash all over body
- Fever
- Loss of appetite
- Child looks/acts uncomfortable
- Not sleeping well
- Wants to cuddle
- Saying Ouch saying something hurts
- Headaches
- Vomiting
- Drooling

Facts of Strep Throat:
- While uncommon in children under 2, it is very possible for them to get Strep if a close family member or other child at a daycare/school has Strep as well.
- Strep Throat is cured by antibiotics
- Once taking antibiotics it takes 24 hours to not be contagious to others
-  Scarlett Fever is  Strep Throat with a rash

Tips for caregivers of Toddlers with Strep:
- Cuddle that toddler!  They feel pretty crappy and what makes them happy is having you close.
- Give Tylenol or Ibuprofen in order to control the fever and pain.  (follow directions carefully!!)
- If she will not eat food make sure to continue lots of fluid intake.  Juice, milk, water and Pedialyte.  Make sure she is having to go to the bathroom a couple times a day or having a couple wet diapers if she isn’t using the toilet. 
- Do not over wrap her when she has a fever.  Too many blankets can over heat a little one. 
- Use a cool-mist humidifier in her bedroom for sleeping, this will help her sore throat.
- Keep her away from other children in the house. 
-  Try to have her rest her voice, that is hard to explain to a child but reminder her that her throat has owies. 
-  Have her take lots of naps if she needs them.  Rest is key.
-  Stay on a good schedule with the antibiotics, take them until gone!!

So that is our advice and story.  If you child shows signs of Strep Throat please do not risk not getting it treated because the myth has been busted!  Yes, a child under 2 CAN get Strep Throat!

Stay healthy! 

 photo signature_zps997af43a.png


  1. I have never heard that children under 2 can't get strep throat. What a bizarre myth! I never would have believed it if I had heard it, but it's good that you are putting the info out there in case other people have heard it.

  2. I always love the things people put out there with medical advice. Just look at all the myths about pregnancy. I had a older woman tell me I should be raising my arms above my head because it will make the cord wrap around the babies neck

  3. I'm not saying this to be a smart-ass but I've never heard that as a myth---too bad that nurse you talked to said that! Good for you for knowing better and going with your cut instinct. My kids have been so sick lately with tonsillitis, I'm so over this! Hope you both are feeling better.

  4. Wow this is something I've never heard before. I thought kids could get anything we get.

  5. UGH! Lennox had it when she was little too.

  6. Scary! AND I thought if strep went undetected it could lead to scarlet fever?Yay for Mommy Instinct!


Get Widget