43 answers

2 Year Old Sick with the Flu

Hello. My daughter will be 2 next month. She has been terribly sick. I have taken her to the doctor 2 times. I was told that she could have influenza. My concern is that her temperature keeps peeking to 103.0+ during the day and 104.1+ in the night. I have been alternating Tylenol and Motrin every 3-4 hours, but it doesn’t seem to help much. I have also been giving her luke warm baths to bring the temp down. I’m scared that during the night her temp could peak and I won’t know. Could this make her have seizures or do damage long term? When is it necessary to take her to the emergency room? What else could I do to help her? Am I being an overly scared or is this normal when kids get the flu?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi M.-
You have every right to be worried. If her temp keeps spiking like that you probably should consult her pediatrician. So many times we are so worried that we forget to mention the important small stuff. Have you tried giving her popsicles to keep her temp down and keeping her hydrated?

get that little girl in the hospital, admit her, have them take stool samples and blood tests... NOW... there is no reason to wait, it is serious.

I would think the fever should be gone by now if you have taken her in 2 times. If it's been more than 3 or 4 days, definitely. Especially since you're pregnant and can't afford to get something serious. I hope she gets better soon!

More Answers

I am a mom of a 3 year old and also expecting a baby in July. I am a 3rd year pharmacy student as well, usually a higher fever like that is associated with a bacterial infection rather than influenza but I am sure that your doctor is checking for that. What other symptoms is she having? The cool baths are good, make sure she is in light clothing that can be layered and taken off when she gets hot, you can also use cool wash cloths on her head. Even though it seems like the motrin and tylenol are not working keep giving them to her. High fevers should not make her have seizures or do permanent damage however if she is consistently having fevers of 103 and 104 on medications I would be concerned and not wait too long before you take her to the ER

wash the bottom of her feet with rubing acholol it worked for my youngest son 35 years ago good luck

My two yr old just got over being sick. I had to give him the motrin and tylenol at the same time, and then tylenol again, in three hours. This is what they told me to do at OUR ER visit. His fever got up to 104.9.

I always ask myself, what can the ER do for him, I can not. It just isn't worth subjecting him to all the extra germs, if he doesn't need an IV. He had not been eating or peeing, so he got an IV and fluids. He had many test runs(blood, snot, and chest xray) to see what exactly he had, and if there was an antibiotics for him. He ended up having RSV.

Good luck, keep her almost naked when she sleeps, and love her tons!

My sister has a little girl that is 8 months old and she was really sick a few months ago. Her fevers kept spiking up all the time too. When they took her to the dr, they did xrays, blood work, did a spinal tap (you name it they did it) they never really did find out what was wrong with her but we took turns taking her to the dr. We had to take her every 24 hours for shots of anti-biotics and what not. EVENTUALLY she got rid of whatever it was and her fever went away. Take her to the dr and see if they can run some tests or something to see if they can try to determine what it might be.

We had this same exact thing last month and it is a little scary. The doctor told us it would go away in 5-7 days, so if it's been longer than that I would see the doctor again. They now have a medicine they can give kids with the flu that cuts the time in half if you catch it within the first 24 hours. (info for next time, maybe) Hang in there!

Mindi hang in thear my 6 year old also has the influenza bug and I understand your concern. We have been doing the same treatment as you. It will run its course in 14- 15 days. Just try to keep ahead of the fever and give her lots of love and attention. Also be carefull that you dont catch it we wear told to wash our hands constantly. She neeeds to have a alot of fluid too. If it dont improve in a couple days I would take her back in and see if they have enything to help her out . My child is on a medication to treat the affects of the flue but he also just got his tonsils and adnodes out to we were in the hospital for three days. He still runs a fever and coughs alot but he seems to be getting a little better.

I would think the fever should be gone by now if you have taken her in 2 times. If it's been more than 3 or 4 days, definitely. Especially since you're pregnant and can't afford to get something serious. I hope she gets better soon!

Call your pediatrician & tell him/her excatly what you have told everyone here on mammasource. Your child could have a bacterial infection & may need antibiotics. Treat the source & your baby will eventually get better. Dehydration can also make a fever worse. Make sure to give her lots of fluids (juice, water). It sounds like you are doing everything you can & you need expert consultation. Be proactive & call your pediatrician.

Any time a childs temp gets above 104 it can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunatly the motrin and tylenol is really the best solution until the virus works it's way out. You many ask your doc if you can up the dose or the time frame. Other than that, lots and lots of liquids. I would keep her close to you at night but not so close that your sharing body heat. Light pjs and no blanket or socks would probably be best. Good luck.

Hi M. -

My daughter who is now 3.5yrs, had something similarlast summer when she was 2. She had a fever between 103 aned 105 (rectal) for eight days straight. I took her to the doctor and they cheched her out and did a test for UTI (urinary tract infection) - which came out negative. They said I was doing all the right things (motrin, liquids, etc.) and to call if I had more questions. Although it is scary, I think it is not unusual. I would suggest to continue to call or go to the doctor when you are concerned - that is what they are there for! (FYI - I would call your doctor before running to the ER at the times the others suggested) (Also, I had my youngest go through the spinal tap etc also when she was one month old - this is what they do for babies that young to rule out some forms of menegitis - it is very scary, but is for infants - not to worry that your 2 year old will have to go through it)
I hope your daughter is feeling better soon. Take care -

Based on what you are saying, she sounds like she does have influenza. That means about a week of temps to 104.5 off and on. Fever, in and of itself, is not damaging. Febrile seizures are an inherited tendency and are not related to how high the fever gets but to how fast it goes up. Brain damage is not related to fever specifically but to the cause of the fever. As long as you are able to get fluids in her and keep her relatively comfortable, you don't need to worry. If you can't get fluids into her or if she is having trouble breathing (not just rapid breathing which is normal with a fever) or is really unresponsive, then I would get her looked at again. OTOH, probably not the ER if you can manage it. They will be full of sick people and you will probably have to wait several hours. Better to see your doc if possible. BTW, cool baths are no longer recommended. They can cause shivering which will actually raise the temperature.

There is little worse in the world than watching your child struggle and wondering if you are doing enough. OK it sounds as though you are worried about the fever and it's intensity,
Ok let me tell you the fever is not the enemy here the flu bug is and the fever is just the human body's defense in trying to get create an enviroment to hostile for the invading bug to live in and kills it. So I was told that the fever is the most scary to the brain if it is High and Stays high for a very long time without any interuption then is where the problems lie.
So what we as parents need to do is interupt the fever, So this is how I did it 6 of my 7 children got this and we had it bad both influenza A and B at the same time. I noticed that motrin wasn't working alone but if I gave Motrin and tylenol at the same time say 6 am and then at 10 am I gave more tylenol and 12 I added more motrin so you can take them at the same time just don't give tylenol more than every 4 hours and motrin more than every 6, tylenol is quite dangerous if taken more often than every 4 hours and exact dosing of it is important.
BUT that is how my children got through it for two weeks when it started to go longer, that is when the doc prescribed this drug called (generic) AMANTADINE. IN 3 DAYS WE WERE UP AND RUNNING. I ALSO CARRIED A SPRAY BOTTLE OF ALCOHOL AND SPRAYED AS I TOUCHED. LOL.
May God bless you it is so tough watching your babies struggle.

Hi M.,
I market a natural juice that has a natural anti-inflammatory and is non-toxic, and with no side effect at all since it is a juice. The anti-inflammatory (which is what Tylenol and Motrin are, but with which you can get side effects) will help with the fever and any other aches and pains. My kids have been on the juice for 4 months now and have not got sick this winter with the flu.
Go visit our website at www.davidstephen.themangosteenrevolution.com
You will have to enter your name, phone number and email address, but only my husband and I see this info. It will allow me to contact you to see if you have any questions and if I can help you any further.
Take care

Hi M., I'm an RN (and a mom). The important things to watch for during an illness with a high fever are fluid intake (pedialyte is ideal and preferable to water or juice) and how your child looks overall: is she pale, limp, listless, or lethargic. Some indications of dehydration are no urination in 8 hrs. or a whitish, sticky, "dry" tongue. If these things occur, or if your child just doesn't look right to you (because, as a mom, your intuition is a valuable indicator) you should take her to the ER if her pediatrician is not available to see her. Also, if she is becoming more congested or having any difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately. There is always an MD on call for a medical practice, so you should be able to contact someone from her pediatrician's office after hours if needed. It is normal to be scared when your baby has a high fever. I was terrifed when my son got the flu one year and I couldn't get his fever down. You should ask your pediatrician if you are giving her the optimal dose of tylenol and/or motrin for her weight, the over the counter doses listed on the package are for the average weight of a child for the age (don't change your dosing without talking to the doctor first). When you put her down for the night, cover her lightly to minimize the fever. The research used to indicate that febrile seizures were related to how quickly the temp spiked upward rather than the actual temp, so, although you are right to be concerned about seizures it may not be that likely to happen. I don't know if the current research still supports this theory, though (again, check with the doctor). If she is still running that high of a fever after a few days, it would be prudent for her pediatrician to make sure she doesn't have a bacterial infection of some sort rather than a virus (infuenza is caused by a virus). If she's not better within a few days, or seems to be getting worse, you should definitely take her back to the doctor. Good luck, I hope she gets better soon :). L. E.

When my children have gotten sick it is not on common for them to spike to 105. Whenever I have taken them to the ER they have given them a dose of Tylenol & Motrin at the same time to knock the fever down and then go back to alternating every 3 hours. Now we just use that protocol at home when they spike a fever that high. It does the trick every time. I would hate to recommend that to you without checking with your Doctor first but I wanted to let you know that is what we do and we have had a lot of experience with fevers! They are scary but the moms always seem more worried then the nurses and Doctors. We went to the ER once with a temp. of 106 and hallucinations and the nurses were so calm about it - I of course was not! Good luck.

I'm not a doctor, but my son had influenza a few years ago.

While high fevers are scary, they actually are not proven to cause any damage. It's the virus or bacteria that causes problems. Does your doctor seem concerned about the fever? Ask him or her specifically. Call another one for a second opinion if you can't get a good answer.

You should work hard to keep her hydrated. If she stops taking fluids, call your doctor. Watch for too rapid breathing as well. When my son had influenza, he developed pneumonia within two days and was breathing about 90 times a minute!

When kids get the flu those fevers are normal (even higher too) and it's common that the motrin/tylenol isn't that helpful.

There is a test available to see whether it is actuallly flu or not - a Q-tip nasal swab test. Not pleasant, but if it is flu, the doctor can give her TamiFlu, which would help her get over it.

YOu could also give the homeopathic remedy called Oscillo. We just went through the flu last week - 2 of my daughters had it - and I took Oscillo because I was fighting it too. It's completely safe and it totally worked for me. (I got it at wal mart - full name is oscillococcinum). The label doesn't say it, but if you try it, take it apart from food (don't eat within 30 minutes).

Hope your little one feels better soon!!

I'm NOT a Dr....I'd suggest you go to a second pediatrician if you don't like what yours has to say.

However, what our Dr. told us was that as long as it's not a constant temp for days and it does go down(night or day) that it's ok and just helping her get rid of the infection. As far as it being high at night, we had a Dr. who also told us to make sure not to overdress them....that they aren't covered in tons of covers.

I think you're totally sane to be nervous...what parent wouldn't be - and feel free to go to the Dr. more (rather than less). I had a pediatrician tell me a LONG time ago that mother's instinct is often much better than Dr's. So if you're really really worried go in and insist on even seeing another Dr.

Let us know!

I am sorry to hear your daughter is ill. When I worked at Spears Chiropractor Hospital many years ago we would take Rubbing Alcohol & rub under their armpits & between their thighs with it. It did bring down their fever. I was working in the Pediatric Floor at the time.

I really wouldn't worry yet. A temperature of 103 is really not that high and means her body is trying to fight an infection (usually viral). The increase in body temperature makes the environment unfriendly for the infection, which is what you want. The vast majority of fevers are caused by viral infection and last no longer than 3 days. If the temperature gets to 105 then it could be bacterial. Fevers cause no harm, such as brain damage, when it is less than 107. Fortunately, the brain's thermostat keeps untreated fevers resulting from infection below 106. If she has convulsions, these are generally harmless (although very scary), but there is a need to rule out a more serious condition (especially meningitis).
You do need to see a doctor if:
a. the fever gets above 105
b. if it gets hard to wake him up
c. if her neck gets stiff (associated with meningitis)
d. she starts getting convulsions
See a doctor within 24 hrs:
a. the fever gets above 104
b. burning or pain with urination
c. if the fever "breaks" and then returns within 24 hrs
d. the fever lasts for longer than 3 days
The best thing you can do for her is to try and make her comfortable. Make sure he is getting liquids. Boil a chicken with lots of vegetables and feed him the strained broth. Don't use broth you buy at the store. It's really not a problem that he doesn't have an appetite, but he does need fluids.

DON'T GIVE HER ASPIRIN!!!! Several studies have linked aspirin and viral illnesses with Reye syndrome.

If you have to give her anything give her acetaminophen. This should reduce the fever by 1-2 degrees in a couple of hours. Keep in mind though that the fever is helping her fight the infection, so why try to help the enemy?

Good luck and I hope he feels better soon.

Most of the info above comes from "Current Pediatric Diagnosis & Treatment" by Hay, Hayward, Levin, and Sondheimer 15th Edition.

have you had your doctor check to see if she has a urinary tract infection?

M., I am going through the EXACT same thing with my 17 month old right now. He has had the flu for 10 days now with a fever for the majority of that time. I've been alternating Motrin and Tylenol and it brings the fever back down to normal but it's been anywhere between 102 and 103. Each day is getting better and we have to give less and less medication. I think we've kicked the fever today but like I said it's been 10 days. We took him in when it had been a week because the fever came back and was around 103 again and I was a nutcase because I thought it was something worse. They checked him for pnemonia and ear infections and everything else and he was okay. This strain of the flu is just horrible. I had it as well and I got a fever and it broke three different times. Its been two weeks for me and I'm still coughing. Our pediatrician told me that children this age get it way worse and for a lot longer than we do. Keep her hydrated. Pedialyte has worked well for us. I am sleeping with him and we have the mattress elevated and a humidifier in the room. Hang in there you're doing everything right. Use your mommy instinct, you know when something is not right. Take her in if you're too worried. Stear clear of the ER, if you can. Its full of germs that she doesn't need to catch on top of what she's already go though. It's so difficult to watch your baby suffer like this, I know. IT's been the longest week and a half of my life and I feel so helpless. Fortunately it won't last forever (although it feels like it). Good luck and hopefully our children will get well soon!

Hi my name is A. and i am a nurse, I thnk that you should take your child to the ER if the fever is 102 or higher due to the fact that they might want and need to start IV fluids. Here is a lil info about seizures that children can have when they have such a high fever:

Fever seizures (sometimes called fever convulsions) are uncontrolled muscle spasms that can occur in children who have a rapid increase in body temperature. You may not even know your child has a fever. The rapid increase in body temperature in a short period of time is the cause of the fever seizure. Once a fever has reached a high temperature, the risk of a seizure is probably over. Most children who have a fever seizure have temperatures above 102 F.

Fever seizures can be frightening but they are not usually harmful to the child and do not cause long-term problems, such as brain damage, mental retardation, or learning problems.

If your child has that high a temp at night, then yes you should take her to the ER.
But if you have alsohol, soak a rag and put it on her chest.
Do not put it directly on her skin, have a T-Shirt on her.
Then make sure she is covered up good, because the alcohol will make her sweat and if she gets cold while sweating she could get pneumonia.
I always slept with my sons when I resorted to this, it is an old remedy but it works.
Good Luck dear

hi M..
been there honey. your doing everything you can to help your little girl, so don't worry. now, when her temp is higher than 101 degrees for two plus hours, then take her to the ER. No one will say anything because you'd just be acting like all mothers do. I took my one year old son to the ER a few weeks ago because he seemed to be having a hard time breathing and his nails were turning blue. turns out he had croup, and the staff said, better to bring them in then have more severe consequences for not. high temps could make your daughter have seizures, but your already doing everything you can to prevent that(like anything is preventable!) so just try to relax and give that girl lots of lovin'! she'll be fine soon enough.

M.: The time that you spent writing your letter, I would of
spent that time taking her to the E.R. I am a sixty year old
grandpa and there is nothing worse that seing a two year old in a casket. A trip tho E.R. and a thousand dollar bill is very cheap to keep a child. Good luck and may GOD bleas you.

I have been told that it's not an emergency until their temperature reaches 106 degrees. Try to keep her fluids up as much as possible. This will help with the fever. Pedialyte, or the equivalent, is a good way to keep her hydrated.

Hi M. - if your daughter has been sick long enough to take her to the doctor twice and having non-responsive fevers, she needs to be seen by a doctor - today. Her fever should go down at least 1 degree in response to tylenol/motrin. A fever of 102-104 is not out of the ordinary but a fever that is unresponsive or hangs on more than 72 hours means there is a problem. She could easily start out with the flu or a para-flu and have it turn into something bacterial. We just went through this same thing in December - me, my husband and my 20month old. My husband got better on his own but my son and I needed antiobiotics. We both started getting better within a day of starting a strong antibiotic.

Be your own advocate - if you don't feel your primary care doc is listening - go to see another doc! It may cost some extra money, but your daughter's health is worth every penny!!

ALSO - alcohol baths are no longer recommended to reduce fevers. It can be absorbed through the skin and the chill can actually make a fever spike.

good health!

Though it is scary, fever is a good thing, it is the body fighting off the infection. A child can spike to 104.5 and not have troubles, even with it going as high as 105. Yes, you can have febral (spelling) seizures, not life threatening.
Try cooling her off in a luke warm bath before bedtime. If your Dr doesn't deem it necessary, you shouldn't have to take her to the ER. My daughter had a fever of 103.5 for almost five days, it was scary, it would go down, go back up, she ended up having walking pnuemonia. Hang in there, just keep in contact with your Dr at all times. The flu takes 5 to 7 days to go away. Did your Dr take a nasal swab to confirm it was the flu? If not have him or her do so. It could be another infection, strep, viral, bacterial. A fever shouldn't last more the 3 days is what I learned with my daughter a few months ago. I didn't rush her in as her fever only came up in the evenings and she wasn't suffering any other symptoms.

Sounds like everything is normal. Take her to the emergency room at 104.5. Give her pedialite and water. Fever is the natural way the human body fights disease. It does 2 things, increase your fighter T-cells and your white blood immunity cells. The other thing is when we have a fever disease is unable to live in that environment so a fever actually kills disease.

get that little girl in the hospital, admit her, have them take stool samples and blood tests... NOW... there is no reason to wait, it is serious.

Hi M.,

My 2 (now 3) year old was very very sick last winter also. The Dr. told me that they aren't really concerned in little ones until the fever gets to 105-106! Scary I know, but it is true. Her fever got so high that it made blood vessels rupture in her nose. It is so very scary I know - but they are so resilient. Fevers are a good thing. It means her body is fighting and that's a good sign. Just hang in there - it will pass.

My 2yr old just had the flu. We took him to the ER room because he was holding his breath off and on due to his body hurting all over. The ER said taking him there was the right thing to do. He to was running fevers that would get very high. They did a flu test on him and he came up positive. They gave him medication for the flu and he started getting better (not right away). He also ended up with two ear infections during this time too. The flu is lasting up to a month to get rid of all symptoms.
We were very frightened because a 4 yr old boy just died from the flu. We were afraid that we were being over protective. If you feel that something isn't right, take him in.
Hope this helps.

My son was plagued with high fevers(105) all the time. I was told by a Dr. to not do the luke warm baths, but to take a cold wet washcloth and put it in the groin area and armpits. It worked like a charm for us. 106 you need to bring to ER. Seizures were a concern for me also, but he never had one(thank God). We kept on the alternating motrin and tylenol and sometimes all it did was keep it at that temp and not lower it. Remember, fevers as scary as they are, are they way their little bodies fight. Fevers are good. If it doesn't go away after a few days then call the Dr. again to make sure she is still in the same diagnosis. Also, wake her in the night to give meds, to keep fever down.

I am a Mother of two boys, 5 and 2. Stay at home during the week and work weekends.

Sounds like you did all the right stuff to bring her fever down and I am hoping it is down now. Things you can do to keep her from getting sick in the future are to boost her immune system. Echinacea, goldenseal, garlic, vitamins A and C and zinc are all great ways to boost our immune system. You can take all or some, they all help in different ways. Keep her away from sugar and white flour, both of which lower your immune system and make you vulnerable to illnesses.
(and tend to make kids whiney.)
I wrote a book called Shopper's Guide to Healthy Living that will help get you started keeping your family healthy. It takes only four hours to read and has many great explanations, references and tear-out shopping lists. Good luck!
K. Loidolt

You are not crazy to be concerned. It is very scarey when a little one gets that high a fever. Remember to keep her fluid intake up so she does not get dehydrated. Soups, Water, juices etc.. At fevers that high there is always the possibility of a fever induced seizure. I have never had it happen to my children who are teenagers now but recently one of my daycare children spiked a fever (during a simple bout of cold) for no reason over a week-end and had a seizure. Scared both parents. If your child's fever does not break soon I would take her to the MD. It never hurts to have them do a check of the child to be sure it is just a virus and not an infection. you can never be too careful with little ones. Also you don't need to live with this stress while being 4 - 5 month pregnant.

Our son was 2 when he got the flu and ran a fever 103-104 for 8 days ( worst at night ). It was miserable then and we didn't sleep much but he is 8 and healthy. Fevers do not cause brain damage until 107 or so and they are how the body fights the illness. Make sure he keeps drinking and to lots of snuggling when he feels rotten and he should come through OK.

I don't blame you for being concerned. It is always unnerving when your child has a high fever. I had similar concerns about what if a child's fever peaks during the night & I'm not aware of it. I talked to my pediatrician about it and he reassured me that if a child's fever is too high, they will never sleep through it. They will feel so awful they will always wake up. That knowledge gives me some peace of mind when I go to sleep at night while my kids are sick. Hopefully it will do the same for you.

I would just keep in touch with my doctor if the fever persists & follow his/her advice.

Hi M.-
You have every right to be worried. If her temp keeps spiking like that you probably should consult her pediatrician. So many times we are so worried that we forget to mention the important small stuff. Have you tried giving her popsicles to keep her temp down and keeping her hydrated?

Tylenol temporarily supresses the immune system. As long as the fever never goes over 105, your child will be fine. The point of the fever is to make the body uninhabitable for the organisms making her sick, so as long as it isn't too high, you don't want to bring it down. Instead you want to give her lots of fluids and help her stay comfortable.

I recommend running down to your local health food store and picking up Dr Christopher's tincture called Kid-e-Well Cold and Flu Formula. I also recommend visiting www.askdrsears.com for more information on when it is necessary to take your child to the emergency room for a fever.

may God bless your child and keep you strong!

See if you can find the homeopathic remedy Oscillococcinum. It is usually at natural food stores, but it can also be found at Fred Meyer and maybe other places now, too (like Rite Aid). It is safe for ages 2+, and if it is the flu that she has, I think this will help her. At the very least, it can't hurt her. My favorite book on this subject is "Flu: Alternative Treatments and Prevention" by Randall Neustaedter (find it on Amazon). It would be good for you to keep the Oscillococcinum on hand for yourself as well since you are pregnant and might not be able to take other remedies. Hope this helps and that your little one gets better fast!

I don't think I know enough details to give an accurate opinion, but I have a couple of thoughts and questions.

1. how long has she had the fever, if it's just a few days, I would make sure she has plenty of water and sleep and not worry too much about it. Dehydration is very serious, so water is crucial.
2. if it has been 5 days or more, what other symptoms does she have? diarrhea? vomiting? lethargic? lack of appetite? cough? achy?
3. Those temparatures are pretty high, but I believe the danger zone is 105.

I don't really know what else to say since I don't know all of the symptoms or how long this has been happening. :)

My pediatrician told me that 105 temp is when you need to get them to the ER. That answer scared the heck out of me. I keep an ample supply of popcicles on hand in the event of a fever. The doctor told me to give them as many popcicles as they will take just stay away from the red ones. If they eat red and then throw up they cant distinguish between blood and popcicle. The popcicles seem to work better for my son that the Tylenol and Advil and I dont feel like I was over medicating.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.