Toddlers immune systems are not fully developed, which leaves them vulnerable to catching lots of colds. In fact, most children will contract at least six colds per year. Knowing the difference between a cold and more serious illness, such as the flu, is vital to providing the care that is needed.
If your toddler has a runny nose with mucus that is clear at first but may become gray or yellow, along with a cough and congestion, and a low-grade fever, it’s more than likely a common cold.
If your child’s fever is higher and he has loose stools or is vomiting, it’s not merely a cold and your child should see the doctor.
Another indication is your child’s activity level and appetite. With a cold, your child’s activity level and appetite will slow down a bit, but not too drastically. However, when your child has a more serious illness, they will not want to move around much and will not have an appetite even when their fever subsides.
The third possibility is that your child has seasonal allergies. In this case, mucus from the nose will be clear and remain clear, and there will be no fever. Additionally, allergies will appear in the spring or early fall.