Antibiotics: Oral penicillin or amoxicillin for 10 days is the treatment of choice for scarlet fever. If the child has a penicillin allergy, then the patient should be treated with erythromycin. Side effects may include mild stomach cramps or upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is important that patients complete the antibiotic therapy. Children should not stop taking the antibiotic when they are feeling better or are no longer contagious. After receiving antibiotics for 24 hours, children are no longer contagious and may return to school or daycare. Parents should contact the doctor if their child is not feeling better within 24 to 48 hours after starting the antibiotic.
Fluids: Children infected with scarlet fever should be given plenty of fluids to keep the throat moist and prevent dehydration. Additionally, swallowing may be painful so soothing foods such as soup, ice cream, or popsicles may be beneficial. Also, applying a moist, warm towel to the child's neck may help soothe swollen glands.
Over-the-counter medications: Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®) or acetaminophen (Tylenol®) may be used to reduce fever and throat pain symptoms. Aspirin should be avoided since it has been associated with the development of Reye syndrome (sudden brain damage and liver failure linked with the use of aspirin during a viral illness) in children. Additionally, Chloraseptic spray can be used in children older than three years to relieve sore throat symptoms. Chloraseptic spray works by numbing the throat and should not be used in patients allergic to local anesthetics, such as benzocaine.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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