Viewing by month: May 2011
There has been a lot of strep throat in the community this year. School age children are primarily affected but it is not uncommon in the adult population as well. Symptoms of strep throat include sore throat, fever, swollen glands, head ache, stomach ache, body aches, chills and vomiting. On exam you will usually see a beefy red throat. There may or may not be white exudate on the tonsils. Tonsils in general will be swollen. The prescence of red dots on the roof of the mouth towards the back are called petechiae and are also commonly seen. Glands in the neck will be enlarged and often tender to palpation. When you see a rash from strep it is usually a fine, pink, bumpy or sandpapery rash on the face, trunk, and extremeties. It may look darker in the groin area. When the rash is seen in the prescence of fever we call it Scarlet Fever. Your doctor will likely confirm a strep infection with a culture before giving antibiotics. The drug of choice for strep is penicillin, or amoxicillin. When a patient is allergic to the penicillins we may choose to give Keflex, Clindamycin or Erythromycin. Fever reducers and pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are recommended as well. It is important to stay well hydrated during the duration of the illness. Most cases start to improve after 24-48 hours of antibiotic therapy. Patients are considered contagious until they have been on medication for a full 24 hours. Schools will generally recommend kids stay home during this period of time. Recurrent strep infection will occasionally lead to the need for tonsillectomy but this is rarely considered unless a patient has had strep multiple times over the course of one year.
Dehydration comes from not drinking enough fluids, vomiting, diarrhea or any combination of the three. Infants and small children are more likely to become dehydrated than older children and adults.
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GERD, affects the lower esophageal sphincter, which is a muscle connecting the esophagus (or food pipe) with the stomach. Normally the sphincter opens to allow food to enter the stomach and closes to prevent food or digestive juices from returning back into the esophagus. However, when the sphincter is weak or relaxes inappropriately, the stomach contents can move back up into the esophagus.
With each age group there are there own special challenges of how to make sure that your child is getting enough of those important zzzz's! What to know how much sleep your little cherub should be getting? click here