What to do if you are worried about Strep A

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Parents and carers may be understandably concerned about a rise in Strep A infections among children

The UK Health Security Agency has published some helpful advise about how we can all be proactive in helping to protect children this winter as well as what to do if you are concerned about symptoms: 5 ways to protect your under 5s this winter

Please note, after 1 year of age, a temperature of higher than 39°C on its own is not a specific risk factor.  This page provides a helpful guide on fever in children: Fever in children

Professor Steve Turner, Consultant Paediatrician at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital explains:

“Streptococcus is a common bacteria all of us have in our breathing tubes that lives with us in harmony most of time. If you get a cold or virus it can upset that peaceful relationship we have with strep and cause a sore throat. More rarely, it can allow bacteria to move into the bloodstream and cause serious illness.”

“We’re very vigilant for it and I can understand why parents may be worried. But parents know their child better than anybody else and are in a really strong position to know if their child is just a bit unwell or really unwell. At this time of year, coughs, colds and sore throats are very commonplace.”

“If a child is difficult to wake up, if they have cold arms and legs or are not passing any urine these are much more serious symptoms I think most parents would be very quick to spot.”

“The advice really is, first of all, to make sure children are up to date with their vaccinations. If your child is unwell with a temperature, give them some paracetamol or ibuprofen to bring down their temperature and a little bit of a sugary drink such as milk or orange juice. After about 30/40 mins then often the child is much better but if that improvement doesn’t occur then parents might need to think about calling NHS 111.”