There are times when a fever can lead to a febrile seizure or convulsion – particularly in children between the ages of three months and five years. Although scary, febrile seizures usually only last a few minutes and are not dangerous, but you should still inform your health care provider.
It’s also important to tell your pediatrician if your child develops a fever after traveling. Special tests can be ordered to find out if your child picked up an infection while on your trip.
Fever alone is only rarely harmful and usually remains below 105.8° F
Our brain knows when our body is getting too hot and is wonderfully designed to regulate our temperature, keeping fevers due to infection from going over 103° or 104° F (39.5°- 40° C). They rarely go to 105° or 106° F (40.6° or 41.1° C).
While these are “high” fevers, you don’t need to be alarmed because fevers with infections don’t rise high enough to cause brain damage. When your body temperature rises above 108° F (42° C), it is possible to get brain damage. But temperatures that cause brain damage are caused by surrounding temperatures being high – like the inside of a car, with the windows up on a hot summer day.
Remember, fever is one of the good guys
Fever is a mechanism that the body uses to combat infection, helping to kill bacteria and viruses by boosting the production of infection-fighting white blood cells. Typically, you don’t need to worry about reducing the fever unless your child is uncomfortable.
If you can’t get your child’s fever down, call your pediatrician. Be prepared with how high the fever has been, for how long and how much and when acetaminophen or ibuprofen was given. This information can help us provide you with advice over the phone and possibly save you a trip to the office or emergency room.