This may be viral but sometimes bacterial infection takes over with these tots and it can progress to something serious rapidly if bacteria spreads through the blood stream - even into the spinal fluid which can cause meningitis. It is a good idea to have the child examined for ear infection, strep, pneumonia, etc. Fever is a sign of infection and it can be difficult to know when it is run-of-the-mill viral respiratory infection and when it is secondary bacterial infection. You sometimes have to go with your gut feeling. Never underestimate a parent's ability to "know" their child - what is normal for them; what is not. If you have an uneasy feeling, always check it out with the doctor, especially if the child seems to be getting better, then takes a turn for the worse.
Home remedies include a humidifier in the child's room, acetaminophen or ibuprofen for discomfort and fever (never aspirin) and saline nose drops to help loosen secretions. Lots of fluids are important to replace what is lost through sneezing, coughing and nasal discharge.
The answers in online forums are for information only and are not intended to substitute for medical advice and care. Please see your personal health care provider for further evaluation of your individual case.
Debbie Miller, RN