It is common for many parents to wake up in the middle of the night to find their toddler having fever. Their child’s forehead feels warm and her palms sweaty. Most tend to freak-out in this situation as they know it’s a fever, but unaware what to do next.
The first instinct that comes to the mind is to call a doctor. But experts feel that parents need to take a deep breath and relax in such situation, and offer immediate relief measures. Here’s what you need to know about fever, its symptoms, causes and how you can comfort your child during fever.
Fever generally causes no harm if your toddler is healthy. It is a way for the body to fight with the infection, and ideally you should be prepared at all times when this happens.
- Healthy toddlers can tolerate a fever up to 105 degrees without any complication. But it is less likely that the temperature will rise to that scary number.
- It is the brain which commands the body temperature to rise, which in turn signals the white blood cell to fight with the bacteria or virus.
- High fever in toddlers is an uncomfortable situation and if the symptom persists, it can cause dehydration.
7 Common Causes Of Fever In Toddlers:
Fever happens due to an underlying problem. It is not an illness or a stand-alone condition, but a symptom of another ailment. Some of the main causes are:
1. Common Cold:
Most toddlers fall sick due to common cold caused by rhino virus. Common cold is contagious and spreads in the first 2 -4 days.
Common Cold spreads through:
Symptoms of Common Cold are:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Mild fever
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
[ Read: Home Remedies For Cold In Toddlers ]
Babies and toddlers are given vaccination to create immunity against certain diseases.
- The vaccine stimulates the immune system and fight with the infection.
- The most common immunization shot to toddlers is the DTaP vaccine, which is diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine.
DTaP immunization is a five series of injection given at various ages.
- 2nd month
- 4th months
- 6th months
- 15th -18th month
- 4 – 6 years
Side effects caused due to vaccination are:
- Swelling in the area where the shot has been given
- Mild fever
- Loss of appetite.
The first set of teeth, which breaks through the gum at the age of 6 months is called teething.
- By the time your child is 3 years of age, she should have at least 20 primary teeth.
- The first one appears from the lower gum.
- Teething may cause fever, but it should not rise more than 102 degree Fahrenheit.
- The symptom usually appears 5 days before the tooth shows up.
Some common teething symptoms include:
- Gum rubbing
- Biting finger or toys
- Your child may stop eating or drinking.
- A rash may appear on the chin or face, due to constant drooling
- There are various teething products available in the market for your babies to provide comfort.
Inflammation of tonsil can cause fever.
- This is often caused due to bacterial infection.
- Temperature can ride till 103 degrees.
- Tonsil infection can spread through person to person.
- Keep your toddler away from someone who has tonsillitis.
- Sore throat
- Swallowing becomes difficult
- Swollen neck glands
5. Ear Infection:
Ear infection is common among toddlers due to a bad cold.
- It causes inflammation in the middle ear.
- The fluid in the middle ear gets attacked by bacteria.
- It causes pain in the ear accompanied by fever.
- It also causes trouble hearing.
[ Read: Ear Infection In Toddlers ]
Measles are highly contagious infection.
- It causes rashes all over the body, cough, runny nose and high fever.
- The virus attacks the respiratory system.
- Vaccination can help you protect your toddler from this infection.
- This vaccination is usually prescribed and schedule by doctor.
Flu is an infection caused by the influenza virus, most common in winter (from October till February). Sometime it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
- Dry cough
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
Usage Of Thermometer:
You can check your child’s temperature with digital or glass thermometer. Mercury thermometer is not recommended as it may break and release poisonous mercury into your toddler’s body. Whatever thermometer you use, make sure you take the reading correctly. You may find it easier to take the temperature in from your toddlers arm pit than from their mouth.
You can also determine the temperature in the following ways:
Temperature can be measured orally, but doctor recommends parents not to use it for babies. It is best for children of 4-5 yrs of age. Put the thermometer carefully in your toddler’s mouth.
The rectal method provides accurate temperature. It is best to use for new born babies under 3month. Be careful when inserting the thermometer into your toddler’s rectum.
Most doctors recommend parents to check their toddler’s temperature in their armpit. It is safe and easy and requires any ordinary thermometer. But this kind of reading can be less accurate. Make sure your toddler’s armpit is dry and the bulb of the thermometer touches the skin.
Ear thermometer can be a little tricky for first timers. You need to insert the thermometer exactly in the right position to get an accurate reading. Sometime earwax can be a hindrance. It is safe, comfortable as well as a quick method. This method of detecting temperature is best for babies older than 6month.
Symptoms Of Fever In Toddlers:
- Your toddler may become: Quiet, Irritable or Fussy.
- Cry all day without any reason
- Changes in sleeping habits.
- Decrease in food intake.
- Feel uncomfortable.
- Head Aches and other pains.
During the fever season, you might be confused whether to take your toddler to the doctor or not as the degree of fever may not be serious. Home treatment can be helpful in such case. It is important that you monitor your toddler’s features and then take necessary measures. Most children get less active when they have a fever. Here are 8 home remedies for fever in toddlers
- Encourage your toddler to drink lots of water. It is healthy to urinate every 6 -8 hours.
- Dress your tot lightly so that the body temperature can come down.
- Bathe your toddler in warm water. Forehead bathing is must. Sponge baths can soothe body temperature.
- If your toddler is vomiting or has diarrhea, give her electrolyte solution. They can be easily bought from the drugstore.
- Do not force your toddler to eat food when they don’t want to.
- Make sure your toddler gets plenty of rest.
- If the fever persists, doctor can prescribe medicine. Medicine like ibuprofen is often recommended by doctors. The medicine helps in blocking the chemical which turns up the heat.
- If your child’s continues to have fever, in spite of the home remedies, it’s time to visit a good doctor. Your pediatrician might include few tests like chest x-ray, blood count test, urine test and ESR test.
[ Read: Pink Eye In Toddler ]
What Is Best To Feed Your Tot During Fever?
Loss of appetite goes hand in hand during fever. You can offer him their favorite food, encourage drinking lot of water.
1. Look for food which has high calories.
2. Provide small and light meals.
3. Avoid heavy, spicy food.
4. Offer foods which are easy to digest, like:
- Smashed potatoes
- Khichdi (an Indian preparation made from rice and lentils)
- Do not buy over the counter drugs for your toddler. Even if it is for reducing fever. Always buy prescribed drugs.
- Do not give aspirin to toddlers. It causes liver damage
- Do not rub alcohol to reduce temperature. It does not work. You should not force your toddler to go to school until the child is fever free for at least 24 hours.
Every toddler gets fever and most gets back to normal within few days. Do not worry if your toddlers get cranky. It is obvious that your child is feeling uncomfortable. But if you are concerned about how your child is acting than it is advisable to call your doctor for advice.
Fever medicines are used temporarily to bring down the temperature; it won’t help in curing the underlying reason. If your toddler has any other medical problem, it is always important that you consult your doctor.
Do share your opinion about fever in toddlers with us.
- Ear Infections In Toddlers – 7 Causes,8 Symptoms & 4 Treatments You Should Be Aware Of
- 7 Effective Home Remedies For Curing Cold In Toddlers
- 7 Causes & 8 Effective Home Remedies For Fever In Toddlers
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