You cannot judge the severity of the condition by the height of the fever.
Above all else, how your child looks and acts determine the likelihood of a serious problem.
A child with a temperature of 101 degrees F who is abnormally quiet with a vacant stare is much sicker than a child with a fever of 104 degrees F who is playing and fully engaged in his environment.
- During a fever appetite is decreased. This is the natural consequence of the body’s healing response during a fever. The digestive system shuts down when the body temperature rises above 99.5 degrees F orally and the body indicates this by decreased appetite. Food eaten during a fever is not properly digested creating a toxic situation in the body that potentially will blunt the immune response triggered by the fever.
- The optimal body temperature for optimal immune function is 102-103 degrees F, orally.
- A child may be lethargic or flushed, may have a rapid and strong heartbeat, and may even hallucinate during a fever.
- Fevers due to infection do not rise above 106 degrees and cannot harm your child.
- Fevers of 107 degrees or 108 degrees F can cause brain damage and usually result from heat stroke or accidental poisoning. Routine infections do not produce fevers of this degree.
- It is normal for one out of twenty healthy children under the age of five to have a fever convulsion. When these seizures occur, they are typically due to imbalanced electrolytes from dehydration and last only a few minutes and produce no lasting or harmful effects.