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Common Illnesses for Infants and Toddlers

Updated on August 31, 2012
Over-the-counter medications can be used as directed under the care of a pediatrician or family doctor.
Over-the-counter medications can be used as directed under the care of a pediatrician or family doctor. | Source

My Child has a fever.....

A fever is when the body's normal temperature is hot. The normal temperature of most children is 98.6 degrees F. If your child feels warmer than usual it is best to check for a fever by taking their temperature.

You can take a child's temperature with a thermometer by mouth, under the arm, or rectally. You can ask your doctor what way is best to take your child's temperature or you can take it which ever way you feel most comfortable.

All children get fevers and it is usually a sign of an infection. You may notice that your child's cheeks are red, and their skin may feel hot. They may have the chills. They may also be more fussy and irritable than usual.

If your child does have a fever you should give them extra fluids to drink. Dress you child in light clothing because if they are overdressed it can make the fever worse. You should recheck your child's temperature every few hours especially if they look and act sick.

You can treat a fever at home with over-the-counter medicine such as Tylenol if the fever is over 101 degrees F orally. Be sure to check the label to ensure you are giving your child the right dosage. Recheck their temperature in about 30 minutes, if the fever did not come down or if it increased you may want to give your child a sponge bath with lukewarm water.

You should call a doctor if:

  • Your child has a seizure
  • Your child has a stiff neck
  • Your child is hard to wake up
  • Your child has a hard time breathing
  • Your child cries if touched or moved and cannot be comforted
  • Your baby's soft spot on the head is bulging or sunken
  • You child is acting out of character

A fever is not an illness but instead it is the body's response to illness of injury. Most fevers are from viral infections and last about 2 - 3 days.


My child has an infection.....

An infection can be inside the body like a cold or flu or it can also be in the skin such as cuts and scrapes. Sickness is caused by germs that you cannot see and germs can spread from one person to another.

If you child has an infection inside their body you may see:

  • Fever
  • Sneezing and Coughing
  • Burning Urine
  • Pain in the ears, throat, head, or other places
  • Child looks and acts sick
  • Child does not want to eat or drink

If you child has a skin infection you may see:

  • Redness
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Redness around cuts or sores
  • Swelling and the skin may feel hot

If your doctor prescribes medicine be sure to finish it all or take as directed. Give you child lots of liquids to drink. Wash skin infections well with soap and water.

You should call your doctor if you feel your child has an infection or if a skin infection appears to be getting worse.

To help stop the spreading of infection you can:

  • Wash your hands often and keep your hands away from your nose and mouth
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Use clean tissues and throw dirty ones away.
  • Do not use cups, spoons, and towels of other children
  • Do not touch rashes or sores on other children

Common Illnesses

Common Cold
Running nose, crying, loss of appetite, etc.
Usually lasts 7 - 10 days and does not require medical intervention
Viral Infection
cold symptoms usually without a fever
Usually lasts 7 - 10 days and does not require medical intervention
Bacterial Infection
Cold symptoms usually with a fever
Usually last 7 - 10 days and needs to be treated with antibiotics
Ear Infection
Ear pain, pulling at the ear, fever
Needs to be treated with antibiotics for 7 - 10 days
This is a general list of common illnesses and their treatments. This should not be used to diagnosis your child but rather as a guide to determine what may be causing their symtoms. Medical advice from your doctor is the best choice for the health


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    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      Very nice hub! A close friend of mine just had a baby a few months ago. I'll share this hub with her. I'm sure she'll appreciate your knowledge and advice.