Strep Throat Vs. Bronchitis: What You Need To Know

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If there are two common medical issues people confuse, strep throat and bronchitis are among the most common ones. Unfortunately, children are prone to both. Not sure how to tell the difference? This guide will help you learn about the difference between bronchitis and strep throat.

Strep Throat

Strep throat can occur in adults, but children are more likely to get it because they do not have completely developed immune systems. The symptoms of strep throat include a sore throat (especially when swallowing), swollen tonsils, red spots in the mouth, fever, headache, chills, rashes, and nausea. Fortunately, strep throat is typically mild but still a bit painful.

Encourage your children not to share cups and utensils with friends at school to avoid strep throat. Additionally, ensure that your child knows how to properly wash their hands throughout the day. If your child feels the pain coming on, you can encourage him or her to stay hydrated and gargle warm salt water. An over-the-counter medication will also help.

Fortunately, strep throat is a bacterial infection and can be treated with antibiotics. Remember that only a doctor can diagnose strep throat, so ensure you bring your child in for an appointment. The doctor will perform a throat culture or rapid antigen test to make a diagnosis.


Bronchitis is not unlike strep throat, but the two concerns do have differences. Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air into the lungs. Bronchitis is typically caused by a virus, but you may experience the symptoms after you have a cold.

Again, teaching your child proper handwashing hygiene helps your child avoid picking up bronchitis and other health issues at school. Hydration can also prevent illness. You can also use a humidifier in your home.

Acute bronchitis comes with symptoms like a cough, mucus, fatigue, a sore chest, chills, and a fever. Chronic bronchitis lasts longer, perhaps even months. Children may be more likely to have acute bronchitis because the chronic form is associated more often with smoking and allergies.

Bronchitis is typically not easy to treat. You cannot treat a viral infection with an antibiotic, but you can control some of the symptoms with an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Now that you have a better understanding of these two illnesses, you can better understand the symptoms and what they mean for your child. If you still have questions, do not be afraid to call local pediatric services to make an appointment for your child.