Clinical Tip: Frozen popsicle soothes strep testing

September 1, 2008

Popsicles can help soothe a child throat culture test for strep.

Every child dreads having tonsils/pharynx swabbed for a throat culture to test for strep. In our practice, we keep a box of various frozen popsicles with 25% fruit juice (inexpensively purchased in local grocery stores for about 4 cents a piece or less) in our department's freezer. Whenever we do a throat culture on patients, they are offered (with parental consent) their favorite flavored pop to suck on while waiting to get the rapid strep test results. The promise to give them one before the culture improves patient cooperation, and soothes their sore throat.

Howard Stang, MDWhite Bear Lake, Minn.