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Cold and Flu Center

A Toddler's Sore Throat & Fever

author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
A Toddler's Sore Throat & Fever
A toddler's sore throat and fever is often the result of a viral infection. Photo Credit: Milenko Bokan/iStock/Getty Images

A toddler’s sore throat and fever are symptoms of the common cold, according to Colds are considered the number one infectious disease in the United States. The common cold is the result of catching one of over 100 different viruses, according to KidsHealth. If a toddler develops a sore throat and fever, make an appointment with the pediatrician for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

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Toddlers are more susceptible to catching cold viruses because their immune systems are developing and are more vulnerable than an adult's, according to the Baby Center. When a toddler has a virus, it will generate inflammation in the throat, causing soreness and pain. If the toddler develops a fever, it is a clear sign that her body is trying to kill an intruding germ. The toddler’s body will raise its temperature to make it difficult for the virus to reproduce.

Exclusive Symptoms

If the only symptoms the toddler has are a sore throat and fever, then he may have a more specific virus, located exclusively in the throat. This condition is called pharyngitis, according to MedlinePlus. Pharyngitis is treated the same way as the common cold, with rest, increased liquids and pain relievers.

Other Symptoms

If there are more symptoms than just a sore throat and fever, the toddler most likely has the common cold, according to Other symptoms include nasal stuffiness, a runny nose and sneezing. The child will develop a cough, appear lethargic and exhibit a lack of apatite, according to the Baby Center. In cases of both the common cold and pharyngitis, the toddler’s fever should remain between 100 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature over 102 is more serious, and requires immediate medical assessment.


Antibiotics are not used to treat a sore throat and fever, unless it is the result of bacteria, according to Most treatments for a sore throat and fever in a toddler are over-the-counter drugs to reduce the symptoms. KidsHealth warns that over-the-counter cold medications are not recommended for most children under the age of six, unless prescribed by a pediatrician. The sore throat can be treated with children’s strength acetaminophen. Never give a toddler aspirin.


To prevent the spread of viruses that can cause a sore throat and fever in toddlers, wash hands often and keep the toddler home. Do not send a sick toddler to day care or preschool. KidsHealth states that viruses are generally most contagious two to four days after the symptoms appear. Keep the toddler in the same location, and be cautious of how much exposure other family members have to the toddler.

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