Toddler Health: Understanding Common Symptoms


By: Brooke Chaplan


Their noses are red, eyes are swollen, fluids are leaking everywhere, and you just don’t know what to do. If you’re at a loss to understand your toddler’s symptoms, here are just a few of the most common and what they might mean.

Your toddler’s skin is so delicate that just about anything can cause a rash, including friction, allergies, food intolerance, and ill-fitting diapers. If your child keeps getting a rash in the same spot, check their clothing for irritants; if the rash is random, spotty, or color-changing, keep an eye on what they’re eating and how their body might be reacting to it.

The good news is, fevers aren’t as serious to toddlers as they are to newborns. The bad news is hot foreheads can still be signs of something serious, so if your toddler’s temperature is above 100°F, call the doctor and ask their opinion. They might tell you it’s nothing, or they might tell you to take your child to the emergency room; either way, you’ll be under the guidance of an expert.

Sneezing can be caused by everything from a simple cold to severe allergies, so you’ll need to do some follow-up with your toddler’s sneezes to determine their origins. What color is the snot? How often does the sneezing occur? Does it have any specific triggers? You may need to put your child on something like Dymista allergy medicine if it turns out to be chronic allergies.

While unpleasant to deal with, diarrhea is so common and has so many causes that there’s no reason to be worried unless it’s happening in conjunction with other things like a fever and cracked skin. When that’s the case, your toddler may be reaching serious levels of dehydration, and they’ll need medical attention right away.

No one enjoys a stomachache, but it can be especially painful and frightening for toddlers when they have no idea what’s causing it. Try to soothe them with gentle words and a stomach rub to see if it’s just gas that will go away with time. If the stomachache persists for more than 24 hours, it might be something like a virus or intestinal problem, so a doctor’s attention is warranted.

It can be difficult to recognize and understand your toddler’s symptoms, but hopefully this list will provide a little clarity. Again, if you have any serious or immediate concerns, call a physician right away. You don’t want to take risks with your child’s health.