Crying, Age 3 and Younger - Home Treatment
Illness or injury that may cause a child to cry
children may turn red or purple in the face when crying. A sick child may have
pale, blue, or spots of bluish (mottled) skin and may be listless, unusually
sleepy, or irritable. A sick child's cry may be weak and feeble or (in rare cases)
high-pitched and piercing. If you think your child may be sick or hurt:
- Check for a
fever. For information on how to take a temperature,
see the topic
- Look for other signs of
illness, such as crying during feeding, vomiting, or
- Check for
other signs of pain.
- Does your child have
colic? You may want to limit visitors and activity
during those times when he or she is most fussy.
- Is something
causing your child pain, such as an open pin sticking the skin, a red spot that
may be an insect bite, or a strand of hair wrapped around a finger, a toe, or
- Does your child have pain in the groin area? Check his
groin area and scrotum or her groin area for a bulge that may be an
- Does your young boy have
scrotal swelling or tenderness (testicular torsion)? Testicular torsion
can cause severe pain.
- Has your child fallen or been dropped?
Undress your child and look for swelling, bruises, or bleeding.
If you don't find a reason for your child's crying, try comforting techniques, such as rocking your baby, breast-feeding, or offering a pacifier after breast-feeding is going well. If your child continues to
cry after you have tried home treatment, place him or her in a safe, quiet
place and leave him or her alone for 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes children can
relax and soothe themselves. Be sure to stay close by.
your child's doctor before giving your child any nonprescription medicines or
herbal remedies as a comfort measure. Products with alcohol or sugar in them
are not recommended.
Do not get angry at your child for crying. Never shake or
harm your child. Shaking a child in anger or playing rough, such as throwing a
baby up into the air and catching him or her, can cause
shaken baby syndrome. If you find that you are losing
patience or are afraid that you may hurt your child:
- Place your child in a safe place while you go
into another room, relax, and calm yourself.
- Ask someone to help
you. If you cannot find someone to take over for you and you still feel out of
control, call your doctor.