26 answers

Toddler with Bad Cold, What to Do?

Last week my husband was sick with a bad cold. Now this week my son and I have it. My son is running a temp of 99.8 up to 102.9. We have been giving him Tylenol, cool cloth on his head, pedlyte and water, as much food as he will take (yogurt, toast, soups), and running a humidifier in his room at night. This has been going on since Sunday morning. At times he seams to be doing better and then he is back with a temp and not wanting to eat or drink. I am wondering if I should take him to the doctor. I really don't know what to do about his cough. I know it hurts when I cough and I can take Halls, but I can't give those to him. Anyone have any suggestions?

Forgot to mention he is 2 1/2. And just this morning I did get some pedlyte pops for him. I will try the honey and lemon tonight. Thanks gals!

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give him Motrin, it helps better than Tylenol. And for cough I give my doughter (she is 3years old) Homeopathic Cough Syrup CHESTAL HONEY, a bought it in Fred Meyer in natuaral department. It helps very well. Good luck!

I would take him to the dr. Children taht age should not run a temp that high. There is very good chance that he has an infection that needs to be treated.

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Hi R.,

I have some naturopathic advice for you if you are at all interested. Unless he seems to be getting worse, he is probably better off kept at home. A doctor's office if full of germs that could make him sicker because his is compromised right now. That and if they were to give him an antiobiotic "just in case" that could make him really worse off because first off, a cold is viral and antibiotics won't do a thing to help it, and second, it will wipe out all of the good bacteria in his system that is protecting him from all sorts of things. But use your mother's intuition. If he is getting worse instead of better, then it is time to see the doctor. But I would give it the full 7 days that a virus should take to get better.

Also I would stop giving him tylenol because the fever is fighting the virus and by lowering the fever, you are slowing down his body's immune response. A fever is not going to hurt him, even at 102. When we get a fever it means our body is working correctly. If he complains of a headache, he is dehydrated, which happens easily when we have a fever, so give him popsickles, water, chicken broth (msg free) fruit or fruit juices, anything that will give him fluids. Avoid anything with a lot of sugar or of course caffeine. Fruits are wonderful and have antioxidants and vitamins, so try all sorts of different fruits and offer them often. Oh another thing about Tylenol is that it is hard on their kidneys, it is a drug, and every drug has side effects. Keeping him hydrated will also help with the congestion and keep that humidifier going. :) As for his sore throat, chicken soup is wonderfully soothing. So is cold water. I know it is hard to watch our little ones be sick but it will pass and his immune system will be all the stronger because of it. I hope he feels better soon and I hope something that I shared helps.

1 mom found this helpful

As hard as it is for us mommies, it is important for us not to see fever as the enemy but as an ally in treating the underlying illness causing the fever. Here is some good information to help keep us calm as we endure our kids getting sick:

Fever: Phobia And Fever Myths

Fever is one of our most overrated symptoms. Many parents have unwarranted fears of harm from the moderate fevers that all children experience. This is called fever phobia. It leads to lost sleep, over-treatment and unnecessary office visits. Here are some widely-held myths about fever:

FIRST: Fever causes brain damage. Wrong. The brain is not harmed unless the fever goes above 108° F (42.2° C). And natural fevers from viral and bacterial infections don't go above 105° F (40.6° C).

SECOND: Untreated fevers will keep going higher, to 110° F or 115° F (43.3° C or 46.1° C). Wrong. Even untreated fevers stop at 105 degrees, unless a child is trapped in a hot place (such as a car) or is over dressed. The brain's thermostat keeps fevers from infections within a safe range.

THIRD: Untreated fevers will cause seizures. Wrong for 96% of children. Only 4% of children can develop seizures with fever. And these, while frightening, are brief and harmless. Febrile seizures cause no complications.

FOURTH: Any fever is bad for you. Wrong. The ability to produce fever is present throughout the animal kingdom. Fever turns on the body's immune system and speeds up the production of white blood cells, antibodies, and natural infection-fighting agents. Fever also slows down the multiplication of viruses and bacteria.

IN CONCLUSION: Present evidence suggests that fevers are beneficial and sometimes necessary for survival. When your child has an infection, one of our treatment goals is keeping the fever between 100° F and 102° F (37.8° C and 38.9° C), not eliminating it. Fever is not the enemy.

As hard as it is to watch, try not to reach for meds like Tylenol or Motrin at the first sign of fever. Let the fever do its job and your child's immune system will be far better off for it.

That being said, if you feel he is getting worse with time and not better, than definitely trust your gut and take him in. Just be wary of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed mainly to pacify you as the parent that you are doing something to help your child when most of these illnesses are viral and will not be helped by antibiotics (& unfortunately do much harm to his immune system in the process).

Other references:
I also recommend the book: "How to raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor". Most of the book is actually available online for free. Here is a link to the chapter about fevers:

All natural, organic, handmade hazelwood necklaces for the relief of eczema, acid reflux, & teething pain for babies and their families.

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Is his cough productive? Is he able to cough up phlegm? What color is it? If it's yellow or green he has an upper respiratory infection and he needs to go to the doctor. Same for the nasal discharge, if it's colored, go to the dr. Coughing hurts and he won't be able to get sound sleep. Again the dr can prescribe or recommend the appropriate cough suppressant of expectorant for his situation. When his fever gets really high, a tepid, luke warm bath will also relieve some of the fever. High fevers of 102 or more should also prompt a trip to the doc. Try juice popsicles or just plain popsicles. You can make some with jello water as well (Tupperware popsicle forms, if they still make them). Or make slushie drinks with frozen jello water or juice, blending them up in your blender with ice. Keeping his fluid intake up is important, you want his kidneys functioning to get rid of the infection in his body. Let him pick his foods, try finger jellos as a fun diversion, and you can use pedialyte as the liquid to make the jello, that or fruit juice. Get well soon. It's probably the flu and not just a cold. It's going around and around and around. Wash your hands frequently. Don't share cups, silverware or dishes.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi R.,

You are doing a lot of things right with your son, so keep it up. I know it's hard to see your son sick, you want him to feel better soon!

Keep pushing the liquids. You are right about the Halls, as he could choke on them. I believe Pedialyte makes popsicles that you can toss into the freezer, these may help with the sore throat and cough. Look for them at the drugstore near the liquid Pedialyte.

Trust your instincts, if you feel you should take him to the doctor, then do so. You can at the very least call and talk to the nurse, who can help you figure out if your son needs to be seen.

Be sure to watch the fever, anything over 104 degrees is cause for concern.

Hang in there, this too will pass, it will just take awhile. Remember to breathe! :)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi R.,.
I'm sure you have lots of advice on the side of meds or off...
My Pediatrican's advice is to call/come asap at 103.. (i'm not taking into account much other symptom's).

The one thing I DO want to ADD... it's not a good idea to let the fever sway up and down/up and down.
for me anything over 100.5ish & my children might be uncomfortable ~ therefore I help them out with what else might really be causing the discomfort. not so much to read the temp down. - but I don't let them go up and down and up - it's not like I'm giving my kids this stuff weekly or anything..

not a nurse,. just a mom :) of 2 boys 5 & 2 1/2.

I would stay away from dairy since that can increase mucus. I think there are also lollipops in the childrens pain relief aisle made by Little remedies meant to soothe throats and coughs. My daughter loves just regular popsicles called Mini Melts in frozen treats section. She is 3 and they are just the right size.

yucky!! we just got over some bad colds in our house too. my 2yr old had such a bad cough he would gag trying to get the phlegm out. i was told to put Vicks on his feet at night and then his socks to help with the cough and i must say it worked. he loved the way it felt too. i'd hook up the vaporizer too, then slather both my boys on chest, back and feet. it works for adults too. hope you're all feeling better soon!

This sounds exactly like what is going on with my daughter right now. We took her to the doctor and found out that she has RSV and an ear infection. They sent us home with a nebulizer and some antibiotics. You should go to the doctor.

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