Because 1-year-old children are unable to effectively communicate their feelings, much of their behavior is nonverbal. This means a mother must sometimes take an educated guess at what is bothering her 1-year-old, or take the child to a pediatrician. A young child who keeps shaking may have several things wrong with her, ranging from medical conditions to emotional issues. Certain medications may cause a child to shake as well, especially medications that can interfere with her blood sugar or hydration level.
Low Blood Sugar
While low blood sugar in toddlers is rarely diagnosed, the condition may be caused by a congenital defect in the pancreas or lymph system. Symptoms of possible hypoglycemia in a toddler are irritability, random crying, sweating, paleness and shaking. She may have trouble holding a cup or bottle and seem clumsier than usual. Her appetite may increase as her body attempts to compensate for an inability to use insufficient amounts of glucose. Young children with untreated, very low blood sugar levels could have seizures and eventually lose consciousness.
Another relatively rare condition in toddlers and children, hyperthyroidism may cause shaking because the thyroid gland manufactures excessive amounts of hormones regulating growth and muscle tone. By overstimulating peripheral tissue metabolism, hyperthyroidism may cause toddlers to experience symptoms of increased appetite, shaking and nervousness, rapid breathing and heartbeat, periodic feverishness and bulging eyes. Most hyperthyroid cases in toddlers are the result of Graves disease, an autoimmune condition in which the thyroid releases too much thyroid hormone into the body.
Febrile seizures experienced by infants, toddlers and young children are the result of a sudden elevation in body temperature. Usually, this causes uncontrollable shaking of the legs and arms, often followed by loss of consciousness. Most febrile seizures last no longer than five minutes and are not harmful to the child. However, if a 1-year-old repeatedly experiences febrile seizures, she should be examined by a pediatrician who may prescribe medication similar to anti-epileptic drugs to alleviate persistent occurrences of these seizures.
Infections and Fevers
Infections can cause fevers in toddlers that produces chills, shaking and flushed face. Severe bodily shaking may be the result of viral infections such as meningitis, encephalitis or other nervous system infections. Young toddlers frequently seem fine one minute and extremely ill the next, with an abrupt rise in body temperature, vomiting or other symptoms of infection. Most of the time, rest and administration of infant ibuprofen or acetaminophen under a doctor's supervision effectively relieves the shaking and fever. However, fevers above 102 degrees F should be addressed by a physician as soon as possible, because high fevers will cause seizures.