How to Get a Toddler Fever Down

When our toddlers get a fever, it can be a stressful and worrying time for us as parents.

Fevers are a common symptom of illness in children, and they can be caused by a range of factors, including viral and bacterial infections, teething, and even overheating.

It’s important to remember that a fever is not necessarily a cause for alarm, but it’s still important to take steps to help reduce your child’s discomfort and monitor their symptoms.

The first step in treating a toddler’s fever is to take their temperature using a digital thermometer. A normal body temperature for a toddler is between 97°F and 100.4°F. If your child’s temperature is above this range, they have a fever.

If your child’s fever is mild and they are otherwise healthy, you can usually treat it at home with rest and fluids. However, if your child is experiencing other symptoms such as difficult breathing, a stiff neck, or seizures, or if their fever is very high (above 104°F), you should seek medical attention immediately.

Understanding Fever

As parents, we all worry when our children develop a fever. Understanding what a fever is, its symptoms, and its causes can help us take the right steps to treat it.

What is Fever?

A fever is a temporary increase in body temperature, usually due to an illness or infection. A normal body temperature for a toddler is around 97°F to 100.4°F (36.1°C to 38°C). When a child’s temperature is above 100.4°F (38°C), it is considered a fever.

Symptoms of Fever

When a child has a fever, they may experience symptoms such as:

  • Feeling warmer than usual
  • Sweating
  • Shivering
  • Loss of appetite
  • General body aches
  • Fussiness or irritability

Causes of Fever

Fever is usually a sign that the body is fighting an infection or illness. Common causes of fever in toddlers include:

  • Ear infections
  • Cough and cold
  • Flu
  • Chickenpox or measles
  • Teething
  • Heat exhaustion or heat stroke

Fevers can also be caused by more serious conditions such as cancer or autoimmune diseases, but these are rare in toddlers.

If your child has a fever, it’s important to monitor their temperature and look out for any signs of complications such as a stiff neck, difficult breathing, or a severe headache. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if your child is uncomfortable, you can give them acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) to reduce fever and discomfort.

It’s important to note that aspirin should not be given to children with a fever due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious condition that can cause brain and liver damage.

It’s also important to keep your child hydrated by encouraging them to drink plenty of fluids such as water and fruit juices. A sponge bath with lukewarm water can also help reduce fever.

If your child’s fever is high or lasts longer than a few days, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to rule out any serious infections or complications.

Treating Fever

Fever is a common occurrence in children, and it can be a sign that their immune system is fighting off an illness. It is important to monitor a toddler’s fever and take steps to lower it if it becomes too high. Here are some tips on how to treat a toddler’s fever:

When to Seek Medical Attention

If your toddler’s fever is above 100.4°F (38°C) and they are showing signs of dehydration, difficulty breathing, or seizures, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Other signs that you should seek medical attention include:

  • High fever lasting more than 24 hours
  • Refusal to drink fluids or eat
  • Unusual sleepiness or irritability
  • Severe headache or body aches
  • Rash or purple spots on the skin
  • Earache or cough

How to Get a Toddler Fever Down Fast

There are several ways to lower a toddler’s fever quickly:

  • Dress your toddler in lightweight clothing and remove any extra blankets or layers.
  • Give your toddler plenty of fluids, such as water, fruit juices, or electrolyte solutions, to prevent dehydration.
  • Use a digital thermometer to monitor your toddler’s temperature.
  • Place a cool, damp washcloth on your toddler’s forehead, armpits, or groin to help lower their temperature.
  • Give your toddler a lukewarm bath or sponge bath to help reduce their fever.

Fever-Reducing Medications

If your toddler’s fever is causing discomfort or pain, you can give them fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). However, it is important to follow the dosing instructions carefully and not give your toddler more than the recommended amount. Never give your toddler aspirin, as it can lead to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious condition that affects the brain and liver.

If you are unsure about the appropriate medication or dosage for your toddler, consult with your pediatrician or healthcare provider.

Remember, a fever is a natural response to an illness and can help your toddler’s immune system fight off infections. With proper care and attention, most fevers will go away on their own within a few days. However, if you notice any concerning symptoms or your toddler’s fever persists, seek medical attention from your healthcare provider.

Preventing Fever

Preventing fever is an important part of keeping toddlers healthy. We can take several steps to reduce the risk of fever in children.


Vaccinations are an essential part of preventing fever and other infectious diseases. Vaccines help to strengthen the immune system and protect against various infections. It is recommended that children receive all the recommended vaccines at the appropriate age. Some vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, should be given annually to provide ongoing protection.

Hygiene Practices

Good hygiene practices can help to prevent the spread of infections that can cause fever. We should teach our children to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. We should also encourage them to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and to avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Diet and Exercise

A healthy diet and regular exercise can help to boost the immune system and prevent infections that can cause fever. We should encourage our children to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. We should also encourage them to engage in physical activity daily, such as playing outside, riding bikes, or participating in sports.

In addition to these preventative measures, it is important to monitor our children’s health and take action if they do develop a fever. We should encourage our children to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, and we should consult with a healthcare provider if we have concerns about their health.

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