The WHO's Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) programme is being implemented in Turkey with an additional section relating to throat problems for our country's adaptation. The aim of this study is to evaluate the validity of this additional part and suggest new combinations for the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis to improve the guidelines. Throat swabs were obtained from 245 children between 0 and 17 years of age with signs and symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. Considering the throat culture based diagnosis as the gold standard, the validity of the symptoms alone and in combinations were calculated. The combination in Turkey's IMCI guideline was found to be 36.9 per cent sensitive and 68.3 per cent specific. Sensitivities of combinations including at least two of the following three symptoms, namely sore throat, pharyngeal erythema, and pharyngeal exudates or sore throat, pharyngeal erythema, and fever, were 76.9 and 87.7 per cent, respectively. Specificities of the same combinations were 49.4 and 30.6 per cent. We concluded that new combinations with a higher sensitivity may be considered as a criterion for antibiotic treatment.