Information On Your Toddler Symptoms

Oct 25, 2012 No Comments by

Often, just looking at your toddler is enough to tell you something isn’t right. But a doctor needs more of an assessment to go on. So before you call to report an illness, check your toddler for these symptoms. Only two or three symptoms will be present in most simple illnesses, but running down this list each time will ensure you haven’t missed anything. Make notes as you go so you don’t forget your child’s temperature by the time you get to counting respirations.



  • Temperature. If your toddler’s forehead feels cool to the touch, you can assume there’s no significant fever; if it feels warm, get a more accurate reading with a thermometer. When reporting the temperature to the doctor, mention how, when and with what kind of thermometer it was taken.
  • Heart rate. A child’s heart rate can be affected by illness and may in some cases provide important medical clues. If your child seems very lethargic or has a fever, take the radial pulse on the wrist or carotid pulse on the neck. The normal pulse range for toddler in the second year between 80 and 140 beats per minute. (It can be up to 20 beats per minute slower during sleep and can get considerably faster during a crying jag.) By age three, the pulse rate ranges from 80 to 120. Report your child’s present heart rate to the doctor along with your child’s baseline pulse, if you know it. (It’s a good idea to determine this baseline pulse rate by taking your child’s pulse when he or she is healthy and has been playing quietly for half an hour or so.)
  • Respiration. It’s also wise to make a note of your child’s baseline respiration rate when he or she is healthy and playing quietly. (You can check respiration by counting how many times in a minute your toddler’s chest rises and falls.) Young children normally take about 20 to 40 breaths per minute Breathing is more rapid during activity (including crying) than during sleep, and may speed up or slow down during illness. If your toddler is coughing or irregularly, check respirations. If your toddler is coughing or seems to be breathing rapidly or is outside the normal range, or if his or her chest doesn’t seem to rise and fall with each breath or breathing appears laboured or raspy (unrelated to a stuffy nose), report that information to the doctor.
  • Respiratory symptoms. Is your toddler’s nose runny or stuffy? Is the discharge watery or thick? Clear, white, yellow, or green? If there’s a cough, is it dry, hacking, heavy, or crowing? Does it seem to originate in the throat or in the chest? is the cough productive – does it bring up any mucus? Has your child vomited mucus during a forceful cough?
  • Behaviour. Is there any change from the norm in your toddler’s behaviour? Would you describe your child as sleepy and lethargic, cranky and irritable, inconsolable or unresponsive? Can you elicit a smile?
  • Sleeping. Is your toddler sleeping much more than usual, or unusually drowsy, or difficult to arouse? Or is he or she having trouble sleeping?
  • Crying. Is your toddler crying more than usual? Does the cry have a different sound or unusual intensity – is it high-pitched, for instance?
  • Appetite. Has there been a sudden change in appetite? Is your toddler refusing fluids and/or solids? Or eating or drinking everything in sight?
  • Skin. Does your toddler’s skin appear or feel different in any way? Is it red and flushed? White and pale? Bluish or grey? Does it feel moist and warm (sweaty) or moist and cool (clammy)? Or is it unusually dry on wrinkly? Are lips, nostrils, or cheeks excessively dry or cracking? Are these spots or other lesions anywhere on your toddler’s skin – under the arms, behind the ears, on the extremities or trunk or elsewhere? How would you describe their colour, shape, size, texture? Is your child scratching or rubbing them?
  • Mouth. Is there swelling on the gums where teeth might be trying to break through? (Molars, particularly, can cause a lot of discomfort.) Any red or white spots or patches visible on the gums, inside the cheeks, or on the plate or tongue? Any bleeding?
  • Throat. Is the arch framing the throat reddened? Are there white or red spots or patches?
  • Eyes. Do your toddler’s eyes look different than usual? Do they seem glazed, glassy, vacant, sunken, dull, watery, or reddened? Do they have dark circles under them, or seem partially closed? If there’s a discharge, how would you describe its colour, consistency, and quantity? Do you notice any ‘pimples’ on the eyelids?
  • Ears. Is your toddler pulling or poking at one or both ears? Is there a discharge from either ear? If there is, what does it look like?
  • Lymph glands. Do the lymph glands in your child’s neck seem swollen?
  • Digestive system. has your toddler been vomiting? How often? Is there a lot of material being vomited, or are your toddler’s heaves mostly dry? How would you describe the vomitus-. – like curdled milk, mucus-streaked, greenish (bile stained), pinkish , bloody, like coffee grounds? Is the vomiting forceful? Does it seem to project a long distance? Does anything specific seem to trigger the vomiting – eating or drinking, for example, or coughing? Do you know, or suspect, that your toddler has ingested a toxic substances.
  • Urinary tract. Does your toddler seem to be urinating more or less frequently? Is the urine differently in colour – dark yellow, for example, or pinkish – or have an unusual odour? Does urination seem to be painful or burning? (This discomfort could cause a toddler to ‘hold it in’ or to cry on wetting.)
  • Abdomen. Is your toddler’s tummy flatter, rounder, more bulging? When you press on it gently, or when you bend either knee to the abdomen, does your child seem to be in pain? Where does the pain seem to be – right side or left, upper or lower abdomen?
  • Motor symptoms. Has your toddler been experiencing chills, shakes, stiffness, convulsions, or neck stiffness (can he or she bend to chin to chest without difficulty)? Does he or she seem to have difficulty in moving any other part of the body?
  • Pain. Is your child complaining of pain in the arms, legs, abdomen, head, ears, or anywhere else? Or is he or she indicating pain nonverbally – by tugging at an ear, for instance?
  • Other unusual signs. Do you note any unpleasant odour emanating from your child’s mouth, nose, ears, vagina, rectum? Is there bleeding from any of these?

After The Baby Is Born, The Toddlers Year
No Responses to “Information On Your Toddler Symptoms”

Leave a Reply