Toddler - Cold Virus & Swollen Glands?

Updated on December 02, 2015
A.R. asks from Cheyenne, WY
7 answers

My 2 1/2 y.o. son has been sick with a cold (upper respiratory tract infection) for about a week. It is that kind of cold virus that lingers, everyone in our household have had it and still battling it, and my son has had nasal discharge, some cough, poor appetite and lethargy. He also had some very soft BMs and vomitted once. Few days ago I noticed the right side of his neck is swollen and took him to the doctor, and while the doctor did not find a throat infection, she said he has a swollen gland (a little tender, mobile and squishy) that is probably caused by the cold virus he is battling. She mention the swollen gland is in the normal size range for fighting a cold,/infection and it is supposed to decrease within few weeks and go back to its normal size within 6-8 weeks. As a natural born worrier, I am really anxious about this swollen gland and just wonder if a cold virus can really cause it and moreover what we could do to relieve it. Thank you in advance!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

It is more obvious when when he turns his head on the opposite side and looks kinda scary but the doctor says it is within normal ranges for a gland fighting the cold.

They did not test him for strep because he did not have any signs of strep in his throat (white patches) nor strep throat symptoms.

He now seems to feel better, is eating well and have a good mood overall. Still having nasal discharge and some congestion, so I am assuming and hoping that once he will be totally recovered the nodes size will be going down within the time frame indicated by the doctor.

Thank you everyone for your insights and personal experiences sharing, they were really reassuring!

More Answers


answers from Norfolk on

Doctor told you everything you need to know.
Yes, glands can swell when they are doing their job - fighting an infection..
A warm pack might make it feel better but there's nothing to do but wait the 6 to 8 weeks for it to go back to normal.

It's nothing like mumps (I had it at 16) and my glands swelled till my neck sink was tight - that was definitely very painful.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

My kindergartener just got a huge swollen gland behind her ear on one side with her last cold virus. It does look odd, doesn't it? But nothing to worry about. It went away on it's own once her body was not fighting the virus off anymore. I'd say it took about 3 weeks. It's very normal.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I would be worried that this cold has moved into a secondary sinus infection. I'd also be worried that you should be having blood work done to see what his white cell count is. If it's up in the wild blue, the doctor should know. He could be fighting mono instead of just a cold. It's really unusual for a little child to have mono.

I would actually want a stool sample done if his bowels continue to be very loose.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Yes toddlers get swollen glands from colds and they can stick around a long time after the cold is gone. If your child is thin, it's even more obvious, but very normal.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Has he been tested for strep? I had strep last year and swollen glands and a low grade fever were my only symptoms. No sore throat. Vomiting is also very common with young kids who have strep. It could be ear infection too. I had multiple ear infections when I was a competitive swimmer. My lymph nodes would get so big it looks like I had the mumps.

My daughter came home from the first day of school with swollen lymph nodes. The doctor we saw said that those lymph nodes can swell up even with just a mosquito bite on the scalp. He told us we could do some tests, but 90% of the time the results come back as "normally reactive lymph nodes." We did put her on an antibiotic because she had a fever. It cleared up in just a couple of days.

It's probabl just a normal reaction to the virus but I would ask for a strep test and to check for ear infection.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

The glands are part of the immune system/lymphatic system. Yes, it's perfectly normal for them to swell during an illness - that's the body's immune system doing its job. So it's a good thing! (Don't start thinking "abnormal lump" - it's not!)

It's not always from a cold - it can be from other things (viral or bacterial). Almost none of them are a matter of concern - and your child has all the other symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, so there is no need to panic about other things. A week or 10 days is normal duration for a cold, and changes in BMs are common especially when a lot of mucus is being swallowed. He's got nasal discharge, but I'm sure a lot of it is going down his throat through post-nasal drip. That can also upset the stomach and make someone a lot less hungry. Plus he's probably not running around as much because he just doesn't feel well, so he's not burning up the calories. He needs fluids far more than he needs food.

What you're describing is irritating and frustrating and it sounds perfectly normal. Increase fluids as much as you can (popsicles, jello, water), go easy on the dairy if he's got a lot of digestive distress, and rest rest rest. Everyone needs to wash hands - not with antibacterial soaps, but with regular soap that makes a lather/bubbles, and do it long enough. Most kids - and a lot of adults - just squirt some soap on their hands and immediately rinse it off. You've got to lather up for a good 30 seconds (have them sing "Happy Birthday" or the ABC song twice though) and THEN rinse. (Think of doctors scrubbing up for a long time - and they're wearing gloves afterwards!) Don't share towels. Put used tissues in the trash and rinse hands afterwards, and don't let kids touch their eyes after touching their noses - if you can police that! I know it's hard!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I have a weak immune system and am currently suffering from this. It's been about a month now (DONT LET THAT SCARE YOU). My best suggestion is chest rubs, LOTS of water, love from mommy :), and plenty of rest. I'm not sure about this but I've been receiving steam therapy. Very nice and does the job of opening everything up in my throat, it even made my throat lumps go down. If tou can afford water and a pot of boiling water, you can give this to your son. God bless, hope he heals well!

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions