image001 Fever is a completely healthy and normal reaction to illnesses such as infection whether they are minor or serious. A fever helps the body fight against infection and therefore it is a symptom and not a disease within itself. Most of the time when a toddler has a fever, this indicates a minor illness and you will need to look at his additional symptoms to determine the severity of the illness. It is important to recognize the symptoms of serious fever in toddler and ways to bring the fever down.

How to Tell If Your Toddler Has a Fever

Normal Body Temperature

A healthy body temperature is considered 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit which is 37 degrees Celsius. Most of the time it will range from 97.4 degrees Fahrenheit (36.3 degrees Celsius) to 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37.6 degrees Celsius) between the morning and late afternoon. It is important to keep in mind that a normal body temperature can vary from adult to adult and child to child. A small increase up to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) may be due to being outdoors in hot weather, a hot bath, overdressing or exercising.

Signs of Fever

Most of the time you can tell toddler fever simply by touching him as the skin will be warm to the touch. If your child is under three months, test his back or chest and if he is older, check his belly or forehead.

Keep in mind that when using a thermometer the temperature will vary depending on where you take it. The most common option that is quicker is to take the temperature under the armpit (axillary). All you have to do is tuck the thermometer under your child’s armpit and put his arm back down by his side. A toddler fever will be indicated by anything higher than 37.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Tell If Fever in Toddler Is Serious?

Although checking your child’s temperature can help indicate whether the fever is serious in nature, there are other methods as well. Pay close attention to your child’s behavior and if he is still eating and playing normally, then you probably do not need to be worried. You should also keep in mind that it is normal for your child’s body temperature to be higher after playing than after a nap.

It is also important to remember that everyone will experience an increase in temperature during the late afternoon and into the early evening and it will then drop sometime between midnight and the early morning of the next day. This is the natural cycle for our internal thermostat.

There is no one right answer about when to call the doctor but you should trust your instincts and call if you are worried. The most important thing to consider is how your child appears and is acting. You don’t need to call the doctor if your child appears fine and is drinking fluids unless the fever is very high or lasts over a day. Other symptoms that indicate you should contact the doctor immediately include urinating less, being pale or flushed, an unexplained rash (as this can indicate a serious problem), or difficulty breathing.

How to Treat Fever in Toddler



Use Medication

If your toddler has a fever and is fussy or uncomfortable, you can give him a small amount of ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Follow the directions for dosage based on weight on the package or call your doctor. You should never give an infant under two months old medication without an evaluation from the doctor.

Bathe Him Properly

When bathing your child, you should never use alcohol as it can be absorbed by the skin and cause alcohol poisoning. Similarly you should avoid using cold baths or ice packs as these can lead to chills that may in turn raise your child’s body temperature.

Dress Lightly


When you bundle up your child too much, it will make it harder for body heat to escape and this can lead to his body temperature increasing. Instead, rely on light sheets or blankets and choose to dress your child using lightweight clothing

Keep Comfortable Room Temperature

It is also important to keep the temperature in your child’s room at a reasonable temperature that isn’t too warm or too cold.


Fevers make adults and children alike lose fluids more quickly so to counter this, offer your child plenty of fluids. Excellent options for hydration include water, ice pops, soup and flavored gelatin. Be careful to avoid beverages with caffeine such as sodas because they can contribute to dehydration.

Offer the Right Solutions and Drinks

In some cases children with diarrhea or who are vomiting should have electrolyte solutions designed for kids. Never offer sports drinks as they are made for adults and they contain added sugars that can worsen diarrhea.

Rest and Stay at Home

Although it isn’t necessary for your child to stay in bed all day, he should get plenty of rest and stay at home to speed up the recovery process.

Avoid Cold Sponges

Never use a cold-sponge on a child with a toddler fever. This will constrict the blood vessels found underneath the skin which can reduce heat loss, worsening the fever.

Put Cool Compress on Forehead

You can use a cool compress such as a clean washcloth to alleviate your toddler’s symptoms. Place it on the back of his neck or his forehead.

What Should I Do If My Child Has a Seizure from His High Fever?

In some cases a child may have a seizure due to high fever and signs of this indicate stiffness or jerks. Most of the time they are harmless, but it is important to be prepared, especially if your child is between 6 months of age and five years. The possibility of a febrile seizure is rare but if it occurs, put your child on his side so he is not close to any hard objects. Then turn his head to the side to avoid choking on vomiting. Never try to lower your toddler’s body temperature using sponges, cool water or medication during a seizure. If the seizure lasts for over three minutes, call 911 right away. If it is shorter, call your child’s doctor afterwards.

Watch for more: when to be concerned about toddler fever?