How to help your toddler when they are feeling sick or have a rash.

When toddlers develop colds and illnesses it can be stressful for everyone. Children under the age of three need careful attention when they are sick.

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HealthLink BC provides non-emergency health information and advice to British Columbians. Call 8-1-1, visit the website or download the mobile app. 

Colds, coughs and fevers

A toddler has a fever if they have a temperature of 37.4 degrees Celsius (99.4 F). The best way to take your toddler’s temperature is in the armpit with an easy to read thermometer. Medications that can decrease a fever are:

  • Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) is a drug that helps reduce fever and relieve pain.
  • Ibuprofen (such as Advil and Motrin) is a drug that can be used to relieve pain, and reduce fever and inflammation.

Learn how best to take care of them to support a healthy recovery (see pages 76-77 here).

Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

Most vomiting in children is caused by a viral stomach illness. Learn more about the causes of vomiting in toddlers and how to care for toddlers with vomiting.

Diarrhea occurs when there is an increase in the number and wateriness or looseness of bowel movements or poos your toddler has. Learn more about how to care for toddlers with diarrhea.

Rashes and skin conditions

A quick guide to common childhood diseases outlines some general diseases: how they are caught and how to prevent them from spreading to others.

Learn more about common childhood rashes.


Eczema is a chronic skin disorder and belongs to a group of allergic conditions (including asthma, hay fever and food allergies).

  • Often appears as red, itchy, flaky areas on the skin.
  • In older children it is often found on the hands, wrists, ankles, feet and inside folds of the elbows and knees.
  • Usually starts in babies but can start at any age with some children outgrowing it but it can return later in life.

Preventing illnesses

Toddlers are curious and interested in the world around them. This can include exposure to colds and illnesses. Parents can help to keep their toddler healthy or recover quicker from illnesses by: