How high should a child's temperature go?

Updated April 17, 2017

Fevers are the body's way of fighting illness. Kids Health states that this natural heating of the body discourages germs from staying. Even if a child loses his appetite slightly from being sick, a temperature is usually not dangerous. Dr. Robert Steele at St. John's Regional Health Center in Missouri states that a fever in children over age 3 does not need treatment unless the child is feeling unwell from it.

High Temperatures Are Dangerous

High temperatures can be dangerous, especially in young children. Seattle Children's Hospital recommends seeing a doctor if a child's temperature repeatedly exceeds 40C, regardless of age. Fevers of more than 41.1 degrees C need immediate medical attention; a fever of 42.2 degrees C can cause brain damage.

Bottom Line

Children's fevers can reach 40 degrees C before parents need to seek medical attention, unless a child is under age 3. If the child is extremely uncomfortable, medication to lower the fever or a doctor's advice may help.

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