12-18 months

PLAYING: Toddler Health Concerns

Add this post to favorites

Toddler Health Concerns

As your baby grows into a toddler, there will be times when you are concerned about their health. Having a sick toddler is no fun for anyone. This article provides information on some of the more common health concerns toddlers experience. This information should not replace any medical or other health care professional advice and if you are ever in doubt about your toddler’s health, speak to your doctor.

4 mins to read Mar 19, 2024

Looking Out for Toddler Illnesses

Babies, toddlers and young children get sick – it’s part of our body’s development. Exposure to childhood diseases and germs makes your toddler’s immune system stronger and more equipped to fight the next invader. Ensure your toddler has plenty of rest, fresh fruit and vegetables, love and attention, fresh air and adequate sleep to help them avoid and get through those sick times. Trust your gut instinct (otherwise known as the second brain) when deciding whether or not to take your sick toddler to the doctor.

What to look out for when you have a sick toddler

Your toddler can rapidly deteriorate in health and they can also recover very quickly from illness. It is important to be alert to changes in your toddler’s behaviour, and general health and well-being so you can monitor and aid their recovery.

If you notice any of the symptoms listed below you should seek medical advice immediately. Even if there is nothing serious found, peace of mind and knowledge can be enough to make a visit worthwhile. Parenting is a lot about gaining confidence and knowledge for the next time something happens.

  • Your toddler is refusing fluids and having less trips to the toilet, or fewer wet nappies;
  • Refusing food for several days;
  • Becoming listless, lethargic or unusually difficult to rouse;
  • Inconsolably crying or screaming for hours and gaining no comfort from usual settling measures;
  • Changes in skin colour such as a yellowish or bluish tinge, or reddish rash;
  • Has a temperature above 39°C and rising or associated with fitting, or there is a family history of febrile convulsions;
  • Remains febrile for a couple of days or more;
  • Has liquid and frequent bowel motions that are causing nappy rash and abdominal pains;
  • Has projectile vomiting after consecutive meals with no bowel movements;
  • Is crying after pebble-like bowel actions. If the bowel action contains blood or stringy white mucous, is frothy, frequent and more offensive in smell than normal;
  • Has a cold that interferes with breathing or feeding;
  • Has an unexplainable raised rash on parts or all of the body;
  • Has a red discolouration of either eye with a creamy discharge;
  • Has a fall and is now crying in certain feeding or holding positions;
  • Sustains a burn or a wound that you are unsure how to care for;
  • You just have a gut feeling.


How to help a sick toddler sleep?

To help your sick toddler sleep, it's important to monitor their symptoms and seek medical advice if necessary. Ensure they’re getting enough fluid, and provide a comfortable sleep environment where the temperature is just right, it’s calm, quiet, and has good air flow. Trust your instincts and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your toddler's health.

Should you wake a sick sleeping toddler?

When it comes to a sick sleeping toddler, it is generally recommended not to wake them unless necessary. Adequate rest is so important for their recovery. However, if you notice severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, persistent high fever, signs of distress, or they’ve slept for an unusually long time, it is important to seek medical advice promptly. Trust your instincts.

What to do with a sick toddler?

When you have a sick toddler, it's important to monitor their symptoms and seek medical advice if needed. Ensure they get plenty of rest, offer fluids, provide a nutritious diet, and give them love and attention. Trust your instincts and consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns about your toddler's health.

What to feed a sick toddler?

When choosing food for a sick toddler, focus on providing easy to digest and nourishing foods from all the different food groups. Offer small, frequent meals consisting of foods like soups, broths, mashed fruits, yoghurt, porridge, and soft vegetables.  Some toddlers may be more sensitive to spicy, greasy, or heavy foods that may further upset their stomach, so avoid these. Ensure they stay hydrated, by offering fluids like water, or oral rehydration solutions that have been recommended by a healthcare professional.  There are also toddler milk drinks specially designed for when energy and nutrient intakes may not be adequate.