21 answers

Does Your Child Have a "Summer Virus"?

On Monday morning my one year old daughter had a 101 fever. I gave her Tylenol infant drops, plenty of fluids, and called the pediatrician. The fever went down to 99. She was fine, just more tired than usual and wanted to be held.

Her fever fluctuated between 100 and 98 and I took her into the doctor on Tuesday. After waiting 45 minutes I saw the doctor who told me that my daughter had a "summer virus." Well! It was worth the wait to see this imbecile for two minutes to tell me what I already know- that my daughter is feeling under the weather.

So I've decided to consult intelligent experts. My daughter is fine. She has no swollen glands, stuffy nose, upset stomach, coughing- however, she's been sleeping a lot. She was on a schedule of a one hour nap in the morning, another hour in the afternoon. Since Monday, she's been sleeping 3 hours in the morning, 4 in the afternoon. Besides this "summer virus" she is growing in her first molar. Could it be teething issues? A growth spurt? She's getting vitamins everyday, drinking milk, water, vegetables, protein. Am I doing something wrong? Is this normal?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

IT WAS NOT A SUMMER VIRUS! Turns out it is Roseola. I stand by my opinion- the pediatrician is an imbecile (and happens to not be my daughter's doctor, thank goodness). Today when I was changing my daughter, I took off her night shirt and wham- chest, stomach and back covered with pink dots. I thought it was measles. Back to the pediatrician I went. Apparently Roseola is a common virus and occurs after two days of high fever. The fever and rash are the only symptoms, but it is highly contagious.

Thanks for the advice- I appreciate all your comments. Luckily I have not exposed my child to any other kids in the Rockland County Area (currently she is being quarenteened in a plastic bubble in a germ free white walled room- just kidding). Just a heads up, I don't know how she got this, but keep an eye out for this virus.

Featured Answers

Summer colds are always the worst. I just went thru it w/ my 16mo old daughter and I think it has a lot to do w/ their molars coming in. It is tough on everyone when the molars break thru! You are doing all of the right things, just comfort her when she needs it and keep on doing what you are doing. She will be fine!

Hi J.,

While I can't give you a diagnosis, I can share my experiences with you. Whenever my daughter was teething, she would get a low grade fever, sleep more and she frequently got diarrhea. I don't know if this helps, but I hope in some way it does.


More Answers

It is normal :) I would advise against giving drops or any over the counter medication. It is good for a child to have a fever. It is the bodies way of slowing down the invading virus or bacteria. If you give medication to lower the fever, it interferes with the healing process and actually causes the virus or bacteria to multiply which can put your child at risk for a secondary infection. Only if the fever gets above 103 should you consider lowering it and then simply eating can reduce it and there are other alternative methods to OTC Meds.
I am also a first time mother to a 15 month old. She has had about 3 fevers, and just one recently. It was very hard to get over my fear of fevers. But we have successfully gotten over each of them without any OTC meds :) As a mom, you will know when something is seriously wrong. If your child is acting normal, besides some extra sleeping, crankiness or cuddling, the body will do the work it was designed to do :)
Oh, and teething can make them more susceptible to viruses. Supposedly teething by itself can't cause fevers, but I am not sure about that one???

Ha, ha, ha....imbecile...that is sooo funny and they tend to be that way. Alot of pediatricians that try to tell me about my child either are men who know nothing about women and breastfeeding or they don't have children of their own. The pediatricians that don't have children of their own, I think they are the worst in trying to tell mother about her own child whom she is with 24 hours a day. Anyways, you are not doing anything wrong as I can see. You are a wonderful mother who is concerned for her child and you are asking for help through this and you have taken her to see an imbecile who know it all. I was told by a friend who read an article that there is a connection between fevers and children who are teething. They have found that when a tooth is pushing through (as we all have noticed if you look at their gums you see a hole where the tooth will come through) and there is hole, the infection can set in but not infecting the gums itself, but when your body has something like infection in it, the body is fighting it off through fevers that is why fevers are not necessarily a bad thing unless it goes up to 103 or 104 or something like that. So, there will be fevers associating with teething. So, if your daughter is teething, give her Teething Tablets (homeopathic, meaning it's natural) and that will help her by relieving the pain. If she falls asleep afterwards, don't worry. The pain was relieved and she will sleep better afterwards.
She may be growing and that is hard to tell sometimes. My boys have done that and I think my third one, who is 11 months is doing that now. He slept and is sleeping a long time and I think he's growing and he's getting over being sick with runny nose and coughs.
She may have a virus but just keep giving her juice and water...if she doesn't eat, just keep her hydrated. You're doing everything right and fine. Children did not come with an instructional manual so we haveto go along with them and learn about them as they learn about us. Let us know and pray for you all and heop you receive Jesus's Wisdom in raising her if you ask Him. Let us know if we can help in any way through our experiences and you'll do the same for others as you go through this.

I am not a doctor, but a mom too. I would say that it could definitely be teething. My son always got a low grade fever, upset stomach and slept a lot too. Crankiness was prevalent as well. Doctors are great and a good one is a gem to have, but they dont all give the kind of care we need and often, do not care for the new moms who are just worried about their little ones and dont have experience. Kids should come with instruction manuals!

If your doctor continues to leave you less than satisified, find a new one. The hassle of getting a new doctor is greatly outweighed by a doctor that REALLY takes care of you and your kids. Best of luck!

Welcome to the wonderful world of toddlers. I run a hoe daycare and I also have three kids of my own. I call them all Little Bacteria Breeders. It is very common for little ones to spike a fever with no explanation. yes it could just be a mysterious "summer virus". It could also be teething. If I were you I would just keep a close eye on her. Look for any new symptoms or suspicious insect bites. i have heard of children reacting this way to mosquito bites. My little one is 14 months and is also cutting her molars. She has been sleeping more and a little grumpy. I have given her mortin and Hylands Teething Tablets and it seems to help. f you have been giving her Tylenol, try giving her Motrin. Motrin will help with the fever and it will also helpwith the teething because it reduces swelling, which caused pain and pressure. also try giving her the Children's meds instead of the infants. My pediatrician gave me a chart with the doses of the children's meds versus the infants. If you would like I can email you a copy of it, just send me your email.

My 19 month old son is just getting over a two week long cold. He had a runny nose, a cough, he threw up in Applebees and then had a fever anywhere between 100 and 102.7 for FOUR days. We went to the doctor too of course, same thing, "Oh yeah, he's sick, keep an eye on the fever" whatever that means. Oh, and he took a FIVE hour nap on one of those feverish days. This was definetly more than teething, even though he should be getting his 2 yr molars soon.

Hi J.,

While I can't give you a diagnosis, I can share my experiences with you. Whenever my daughter was teething, she would get a low grade fever, sleep more and she frequently got diarrhea. I don't know if this helps, but I hope in some way it does.


welcome to the wonderful world of mysterious illnesses. something is wrong, a fever, comes and goes, nothing in particular, you go to the ped, they "have a virus", you go home and worry, wait a few days, go back, same thing. sometimes a rash comes out and you then know it was roseola or coxsackie or something like that, usually it just goes away. and then they usually get sick from sitting in the pediatricians office. and you wish over and over that you or your husband or brother or whoever had become a pediatrician. its constant stress. what can you do?? youre doing everything you can. try not to worry too much, but go with your gut. if you feel something is really wrong, then you keep going back and if you need to see someone else, then you do it, thats all. i have 3 kids 5 and under, and i practically live at the doc, and its almost always "just a virus"... and nothing to do for it. but a fever is scary, so you always check it out, thats all. and by the way, it certainly could be teething or a growth spurt, or a little of everything. did she have any shots before this? could be that too. hope she feels better soon. there are tons of viruses that she is going to get, but remember that you know her best and if you think something is truly not right, then you insist on the care she needs. take care.

I hate to be the one to defend the poor doctors, but somehow we parents expect poor physicians, especially pediatricians, to somehow be able to diagnose every child with exactly what they have every time they have a fever even though they have no other symptoms. The unfortunate truth is that most of the time your child has a fever, it will be some mild virus (sorry, a "summer virus") and they will get better on their own, no antibiotics required. I don't go or call the doctor for a simple fever unless it has been over 3 days, but then again, I'm a nurse and my kids are older and I guess I don't worry as much. I also follow what the other responder said about letting fevers run at low grades - I believe fevers are good and help kids do what they should do - rest and their immune system work. I do treat them if they are miserable or crying though.

Summer colds are always the worst. I just went thru it w/ my 16mo old daughter and I think it has a lot to do w/ their molars coming in. It is tough on everyone when the molars break thru! You are doing all of the right things, just comfort her when she needs it and keep on doing what you are doing. She will be fine!

it could be teething, growth spurt. any tick bites or reasons to think it might be Lyme?

Yes! Moms are the true intelligent experts!

Sleeping a lot and a bit of fever could be teething or fighting something off. I would go with fighting something off, since that seems like a lot of sleeping. Good job, keep monitoring her unusual behaviour and keep her home for a few days.

Have you ever heard of the book "How to Rasie A Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor"? (it's by a pediatrician who exposes the failures of modern pediatrics). Your post's tone just reminded me a bit of it- you might like it.

Here is my best fever advice.... (copied from a previous reply).

I rememember being very afraid too when my son would have fevers and/or diahrrea (esp. while teething), and becoming emotionally worn out from constantly comforting him. What helped me most was an article I read about holistic attitudes towards children's immune responses. It spoke of "honoring the illness"- that the goal of home remedies is not to stop the symptoms, just to reduce the severity. Honor what the body is trying to do and facilitate the conclusion of the process without complications.

When your child has a fever, holding her is often the most soothing thing you can do. As long as the fever doesn't go over 103/4 you probably are better off letting it take its course because we generate this type of heat on purpose in response to what our immune system understands we need to facilitate things. Our bodies are very wise, and the holistic attitude to "supressing" symptoms (such as taking pills to make fever diminish) is that rather than a surface acute condition which the body will have a struggle with, then overcome and be stonger for it- supressing the body's struggle will lead to a more chronic, internal problem. Just like with emotions- dealing with difficult situations to resolve them, even if it requires confrontations or turmoil we would rather avoid- facilitates healing rather than stewing over things inside and generating low level long lasting stress which takes a toll and then eventually begins to resurface in worse ways than it started. A child's ability to generate a good fever is a positive sign, because it is exactly this heat pattern which stops pathogens from replicating quickly if an infection is beginning. The more often we supress fever, the less the body will try to generate this heat.

My 14 month old recently came down with a sudden fever, and I made sure he was comfortable in cotton clothing so his skin can breathe well and wrapped him up on my chest in a baby carrier and just walked and walked with him in the dusky, calm evening. He just went limp in my arms and completely relaxed, his breathing became steady with mine, and he is now sleeping peacefully in his crib. I think when they sense that we believe in what their body can do to heal itself and we are not worried, they just receive our empathy and progress in their recovery.

***After I posted the above reply, I went through some long days... turned out the kids both got "scarlet fever". We got them through it drug free (although my dr. told me they would basically become seriously ill if I did not administer antibiotics- my mother's intuition told me homeopathy was a better, more illness-specific route to treat them, and they have recovered and thrived). I am so glad I use my doctor pretty much only for diagnosis- and yet, sometimes a diagnosis (or the search for it) can really hamper our ability to "treat" or nurse our children to health. When you focus on the idea that there is a specific disease and it must be treated in a specific way, you LIMIT your healing potential as a mom. When you look at the symptoms and choose common sense, symptom-related treatments, and go with your gut feeling on whether you can handle it or need outside help, you will probably have such a better experience! For instance, how I treated their scarlet fever was a) light foods- pureed cooked veggies and homemade chicken stock b) homepathic rememdy belladonna which adresses heat signs and redness c)homeopathic remedy ferrum phos for help handling extended fever (given to the one whose 103.8 fever lasted 48 hours- the morning after he took it, his fever broke) d)herbs- cleavers for lymph drainage and swollen glands, astragalus for immune system boost, and chamomile for soothing e)lots of extra cuddling.

It's funny; extended family members were so concerned that I was not "treating them"- and yet, I think I gave them a lot more attention than someone who would have given them some spoonfuls of pink dyed liquid that killed all their important immune boosting flora (antibiotics actually means, "anti-life") that help them fight things off and aid their digestion- and called it "treatment". Sure, antibiotics have their place- but I think I am more qualified to judge what that place is than a doctor since I can sense if my kids are fighting things off on their own or need invasive help better than someone who looks at them for 10 minutes.

All of this just to say- you really are the best expert on your child. And many times, unless its serious or your child is not recovering, they are not going to tell you anything you can't figure out yourself with some basic tools (internet, otehr moms, couple a reference books).

A "summer virus" is a pretty broad diagnosis, but most likely because there is no clear answer and I don't think the medical community will EVER associate illness symptoms with teething...she may just be suffering from a virus, but I also think she is suffering from the molar coming in - teething is painful and pain is TIRING. The fever? I would treat a fever, teething with tylenol if my son was cranky and miserable - which is not his personality so I'd know he must be suffering. If he wasn't miserable then I would hold off on the tylenol. The teething though - if you think thats an issue do something to alleviate the pain she might be suffering from. Again, I believe it could be teething and/or a virus - this has always confused me but I just know that these types of symptoms seemed to happen at the same time with my son. Regardless I would just treat her as you have and watch for any worsening of symptoms. Hopefully she'll be up and running again in a short time.

Was she recently vaccinated? Vaccines can cause all kinds of problems. Fever being one of them.

TIS THE SEASON!!! Sounds like you are doing a great job! Don't worry, keep her hydrated and if she wants to eat let her if not don't worry. She may be more picky right now in her food choices so offer something and if she says no wait a while and give her a different choice. My 2yo is going through a "summer virus" right now and she eats ice pops to help with the fever, gets infant tylenol and lots of water and hugs! The Drs have a way of making us feel totally stupid and irate don't they!?!

She may be teething and / or growing as well as have a virus. Hang in there and if you see she is getting worse or just not getting better you can always take her back to a different doctor. A.

Hi J.,
Sorry your little girl isn't feeling well! Sometimes teething or vaccines can cause a fever and a bit of lethargy in the case of vaccines. However, a "summer virus" isn't any different than a viral illness that a child gets in the fall, winter or spring. If it's a simple virus, there's really nothing more that your doctor can tell you. It sounds like you're taking great care of your baby, but that doesn't mean she won't ever get sick. Babies and kids do get sick, even ones who get great nutrition so there's no need to feel that you're doing anything wrong! I've been a mom for 13 years, and one of the things that you need to do is to realize that you cannot control everything. No matter what you do and how hard you try to do everything "right," there are some things that are just not in your control and things like illness or injury will just happen despite your best efforts to keep your child healthy and safe.
I hope your little one is feeling much better soon!

my 3 yr. old had a "summer virus" that his doc specified being Adenovirus, I looked it up and sure enough he had all of those symptoms she saw in him... on and off fever for one week, a slight red in his eyes, achy muscles, a slight rash on his tummy and back that was almost faint,... I was certain he must have gotten bit by a tick b/c he has complained of leg / muscle pain. She was confident in her diagnosis, even though I doubted her. Moral: yes, you so know your child the best, but most of the time, these prof. docs are accurate.

There are a million viruses that go around, not only in the summer, but also every other season - I hate it!! I still get really nervous when my kids get the slightest bit sick.

My 5 month old had one in June...fever, just not acting right...that's all it was...I kept her up on Infants' Motrin and after a few days she was fine...All 3 of my kids have gone through this, only it seems (knock on wood!) it happens less and less frequently as they get older (my other 2 are 4 and 5)...I guess they build up those immunities.

My oldest daughter spiked a fever (and I mean spike, like as in 104) every time she got a tooth in. I know the ped's will tell you that fever and teeth don't go together, but I am living proof they do...

She'll be fine...I think they have to catch all these 'bugs' so their bodies can learn to fight them off! Wait til she enters school...oy vay! LOL!

Best wishes,

Hi Jamie,

My oldest son is going through the exact same summer virus. 3 days ago he woke up about 2 hours after bedtime coplaining of a headache. I took his temp and he was over 101°F. Yesterday he ran between 99-100 but never any higher. I've always been the first to not give meds the first 24-48 hours so that his body can defeat whatever he has in his body. Starting today though he's on meds to bring down the fever. He has a little bit of a stuffy nose but nothing more.

Just another virus you can't do anything about but let it run it's course. I'm taking the day as a blessing in disguise and not going to work, but rather staying home to clean the house!! lol

I have heard about the summer virus from a fiend of mine with her 12 month old daughter. I have a 9 month old son who has also been feverish and sleeping alot and clingy. He is also teething and growing, I know he is growin because he has been eating more lately. As long as her fever stays down and there are no other symptoms it sounds to me like you are doing all the right things. Hopefully the worst is over and she will be back to normal very soon.

J., it could very well be teething. My daughter will be one on Sunday and her first bout with teeth coming in brought a high fever and just a general "blahness" about her. She wasn't her usual happy self but didn't have any other real issues besides the fever. Now this time, with three more teeth coming in, she's had a runny nose and many more bowel movements than usual, which has brought with it a severe case of diaper rash. So it sounds to me like your daughter could be dealing with incoming teeth. Good luck and just keep giving her lots of love, it will get better.

Hi J.,

My kids always get a "summer virus" or two. However, if it goes on longer than a week, 2 things my doctor always checks for are bladder infection and lyme disease. My 2 year old had a fever on and off for 2 weeks, and those are the things they screened her for (thankfully, negative on both and the fever finally cleared).
Good luck,

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