Causes of Toddler Fever: Bacterial and Viral Infection in Toddlers

Toddler fever is a condition wherein the body temperature rises from a normal body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius (37 C) or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (98.6 F). A body temperature above this range is considered as fever or elevated body temperature.

Toddler fever can cause frenzy among parents but it is important to understand that a fever is a body’s normal response to bacterial or viral invasions. An elevated body temperature helps a toddler’s immune system fight such bacterial or viral infections.


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Therefore, temperature alone may not cause any problem but associated symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting can cause a lot of discomfort to the child. While moderate fever can be treated at home, high fever requires immediate medical attention.

Reasons for Toddler Fever

Toddler fever is a common problem given that toddler immunity is low against viral infections and bacterial infections. Both, toddler viral infection and toddler bacterial infection enter the body through mucous membranes such as nasal passages, mouth, rectum, genital area or skin. Cuts or irritated skin can also harbor bacterial and viral infection. Toddler viral infection and toddler bacterial infection cause similar symptoms. Some common symptoms apart from fever due to such infections are: rash, runny nose, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, decreased appetite, and diarrhea. It is important to note that treatments meted out to bacterial and viral infections are different in nature.

As similar symptoms are exhibited by bacterial and viral infections it is important to diagnose the same to decide the course of treatment.

Toddler Teething Fever

Toddler fever and teething are also commonly associated with each other. Doctors insist that teething does not cause fever but bacterial infections due to broken gums may be a possible cause for toddler fever. Toddlers also like to grind their teeth against rough objects while teething. This also exposes the tender gums to bacterial and viral infections leading to fever.

Prevent Bacterial and Viral Infection in Toddlers

Preventing bacterial and viral infections may not be always possible but observing some simple hygiene and lifestyle traits can help avoid causes that lead to toddler fever. Always try and maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene for self and child. Some simple tips to set high yet good standards are:

  • Washing hands before and after changing diapers
  • Washing hands before handling a toddler
  • Washing hands of the child and self after visiting public places or crowded areas.
  • Keeping the toddler’s favorite toys and areas dust and dirt free
  • Maintaining adequate distance from a toddler if you have cold or fever
  • Inculcating similar hygiene pattern in other care givers
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