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Fever in Toddlers

When your toddler has a fever it is always a concern but don’t worry, it is not always a cause for panic. Fever is a symptom that occurs when the body is fighting an unwanted intruder such as bacteria or virus. Fever in toddlers can lead to adverse reactions so keep an eye on your toddler if they have a temperature and don’t hesitate to see your doctor if you are concerned.


Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Normal body temperature range

The normal temperature range for your toddler is between 36 – 37°C but this can vary depending on where and when the temperature is taken –underarm and ear are the most accurate, although forehead is the easiest. Above 37.5°C is considered a fever but it is not necessarily a dangerous level. It is common for fevers to spike in the evening and be lower in the mornings. If your toddler is drinking and still urinating regularly, but a bit wingy and clingy, there may be no need for concern or a trip to the doctor.

Febrile convulsion

The rapid rise and fall of your toddler’s body temperature can trigger a febrile convulsion. Witnessing a febrile convulsion is a frightening experience but doesn’t necessarily lead to any ongoing problems.  Always seek medical attention if your toddler experiences a convulsion just to make sure all is ok.

What to do when your toddler has a fever

  • When your toddler has a fever it is important to keep her cool, calm and hydrated. Provide opportunities of quiet play, rest, regular drinks of water and breast milk (if you still have some); 
  • Don’t be alarmed if your toddler is off their food when they have a fever – it’s normal and they will get their appetite back soon enough;
  • Avoid dressing them in too many layers, as exposed skin helps the body to cool down;
  • Use tepid water (not hot or cold) when bathing as cold bath water can cause a rapid drop in body temperature – risking a febrile convulsion. Cold water may also cause the body to shiver which raises the body temperature;
  • Keep windows slightly open to allow fresh air to circulate or have a fan going where your toddler plays.

By helping to keep your toddler’s immune system strong you can help them fight infection on their own. Contact your doctor if you have any concerns who may advise appropriate medication if required.

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