About all

What temp of a fever is dangerous: How high a fever is too high?

What is an Unsafe Fever Temperature for Kids? 5 Facts

Parenthood is without a doubt one of the greatest roles women and men get to play in life. Kids help you relive your childhood and teach you how to love again.

That’s why it breaks your heart when they don’t feel well. Colds and runny noses are part of the process. And you need to know what to do about an unsafe fever temperature for kids.

When you’re little one feels bad, they’re cranky and every little thing irritates them. They cough and hack all day. And some of your best recipes go to waste because they won’t eat.

Children get fevers more often than adults. You need to know when it’s reached an unsafe temperature. Discover here five facts about an unsafe fever temperature for kids.

1. Unsafe Fever Temperature for Kids

When a child’s body is at war with a virus or bacteria, fever is the body’s natural response. Almost any form of infection can conjure one up.

A few common signs your child might be getting a fever:

  • Cold or Flu
  • Ear or Sinus Infection (sometimes both are present)
  • UTI (urinary tract infection)
  • Pneumonia or Bronchitis

Smaller babies with budding teeth are susceptible to fever as well. They’re constantly putting their hands in their mouths to soothe themselves. Doing so allows germs to enter the body which leads to bacteria and infection.

The first factual alarm to a fever is elevated body temperature. But understand, a warm child doesn’t automatically indicate fever.

If they complain about not feeling well with a warm body take their temperature. Look for more accurate results via the ear or forehead. 100.4 degrees or higher demonstrates fever.

2. Not All Fevers Are Bad for Children

A hot head and cranky kid doesn’t mean your little person is in a health crisis. Elevated body temperature isn’t good. But fevers activate the immune system.

They alarm the body of a present infection and assist in fighting it. If you’re unsure, contact your pediatrician. If other conditions aren’t present, they’ll assure you temps between 100.4 and 104 aren’t dangerous.

Follow their instructions on what over-the-counter meds to give to your child to break the fever.

3. Take Fevers over 104F Degrees Serious But Don’t Panic

If your child’s fever reads 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, don’t panic right away. Fevers with infections rarely jump past 105 degrees. That’s alarming but nothing to make you fear your kid’s life.

It’s when temperature press past 107 degrees is when you worry. It seldom happens. But if it does, get them professional help fast. A fever this high causes brain damage and other issues in the body.

This is also a clear sign something serious is happening in your child’s body. Somebody far beyond what they can express. Don’t wait it out and don’t rely on store-bought meds.

Seek out a pediatric professional right away.

4. Your Child’s Not at Risk of a Seizure with a Fever

Seizures aren’t common with every case of fever. Only 2 to 5 percent of kids under five experience febrile seizures due to fever.

If your child shows signs of a fever of 100.4 degrees or above, don’t assume a seizure is on the way. Remember, you can always contact their pediatrician for help and reassurance.

5. Don’t Over-Medicate a Fever

Sometimes parents automatically assume they must treat their child’s fever with medicine. Not true.

Not all fevers require meds. You only need to treat a fever at the pediatrician’s urging or if your child complains of discomfort. If they’re not complaining, keep happy and occupied with toys and things they like.

Watch their temp in the process to make sure it doesn’t rise.

Know the Facts on Kid Fevers

An unsafe fever temperature for kids is something all parents need to watch for. But don’t stress right away.

They’re levels to unsafe. And with kid fevers, those levels aren’t common with each case. Learns the facts and find out how to deal with your kid and a fever.

Need urgent care help and information? Check out our services and find out how we can help when you’re feeling under the weather.

Fever in children | nidirect

A fever is a high temperature. Generally, in children fever is a temperature of 38°C (100.4F) or over. It can be worrying if your child has a high temperature. Fever is very common and often clears up without treatment.

Causes of high temperature

A quick and easy way to find out whether your child has a fever is to take their temperature using a thermometer.

Most fevers are caused by infections or other illnesses. The high body temperature makes it more difficult for the bacteria and viruses that cause infections to survive.

Common conditions that can cause fevers include:

  • upper respiratory tract infections (RTIs)
  • flu
  • ear infections
  • roseola – a virus that causes a temperature and a rash 
  • tonsillitis
  • kidney or urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • common childhood illnesses, such as chickenpox and whooping cough

Your child’s temperature can also be raised after vaccinations, or if they overheat because of too much bedding or clothing.

When to get urgent medical advice 

Contact your GP urgently, if your child:

  • is under three months old and has a temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • is between three and six months old and has a temperature of 39C (102.2F) or above

You should also see your GP if your child has other signs of being unwell, such as:

  • persistent vomiting
  • refusal to feed
  • floppiness or drowsiness

If it isn’t possible to contact your GP, call the GP out of hours service.

Other than having a high temperature, if your child seems to be well, for example, if they’re playing and attentive, it’s less likely they’re seriously ill. 

How to assess if your child is unwell

It can be difficult to tell when a child is seriously ill, but the main thing is to trust your instincts.

It is unlikely there is any serious illness if your child is:

  • a normal colour
  • active
  • breathing normally
  • smiling and responsive

Below are warning signs that might be serious.


If your child:

  • appears pale, it can be a sign that the illness is becoming more serious, and you should seek advice
  • is mottled, ashen, or blue; this requires urgent assessment and may be an emergency


If your child:

  • is not responding  normally, and needs much more encouragement than usual to respond, you should seek advice
  • becomes unresponsive, appears unusually unable to stay awake, displays weak, high-pitched, or continuous crying; this requires urgent assessment and may be an emergency


If your child:

  • appears to be breathing more rapidly (this depends on their age) then you should seek medical advice 
    • six to 12 months of age: more than 50 breaths per minute 
    • over 12 months of age: more than 40 breaths per minute
  • is grunting or appears distressed breathing or is taking more than 60 breaths per minute; this requires urgent assessment and may be an emergency


  • if symptoms or signs of dehydration are present you should seek advice

Treating a fever 

If your child has a fever, it’s important to keep them hydrated by giving them plenty of cool water to drink.

Babies should be given plenty of liquids, such as breast milk or formula. Even if your child isn’t thirsty, try to get them to drink little and often to keep their fluid levels up.

Other things that can help keep your child comfortable include:

  • dressing your child in light clothing (appropriate for their surroundings)
  • putting your child in a room with a comfortable temperature
  • if they’re warm, covering them with a lightweight sheet or opening a window

Sponging your child with cool water isn’t recommended to reduce a fever.


Children’s paracetamol or ibuprofen work as antipyretics, which help to reduce fever, as well as being painkillers. These two medicines work differently.

You can’t give them both at the same time. If one doesn’t work, you may want to try the other later. You should allow at least three hours to see if the medicine is working before trying an alternative.

Antipyretics aren’t always necessary. If your child isn’t distressed by the fever or underlying illness, there’s no need to use antipyretics to reduce a fever.

When using antipyretics, always read the patient information leaflet that comes with the medication to find the correct dose and frequency for your child’s age.

  • High temperature in children

More serious illnesses

Sometimes a high temperature in children is associated with more serious signs and symptoms, such as:

  • breathlessness
  • vomiting 
  • rash 
  • fits or seizures 

Possible serious bacterial illnesses include:

  • meningitis – infection of the meninges, the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
  • septicaemia – infection of the blood
  • pneumonia – inflammation of the lung tissue, usually caused by an infection

It’s important to remember that potentially serious causes of fever are rare.

Read more about recognising the signs of serious illness in babies and children .

More useful links

  • How to use your health services

Help improve this page – send your feedback

High temperature what to do?

High temperature is an increase in body temperature above normal values. Normal body temperature in the armpit is 36.0-36.9ºС, and in the morning it is 0.3-0.5ºС lower than in the evening. In the oral cavity and rectum, the temperature is usually 0.5-1 ºС higher than in the armpit, but does not exceed 37.5 ºС.

The causes of fever are manifold. The most common of these are infectious diseases. Microorganisms, their toxins and waste products affect the thermoregulatory center in the brain, causing an increase in body temperature.

There are several types of fever. According to the degree of temperature rise, subfebrile is distinguished – not higher than 37.5ºС; and febrile fever. Everyone is familiar with the manifestations of fever: muscle aches, headache, pain in the eyes, weakness, chills. Chills are nothing more than a physiological way to increase body temperature. When muscles contract, they increase heat production, and body temperature rises.

An increase in body temperature during an infectious disease does not occur by chance. Fever has important physiological significance. First, many bacteria die at high temperatures or lose their ability to reproduce. In addition, with an increase in body temperature, the body’s defense mechanisms to fight infection increase. Therefore, if the fever is benign and there are no other symptoms, drug treatment is usually not required – plentiful warm drinking and rest are recommended.

However, there are negative consequences of fever. In addition to subjectively unpleasant sensations, fever leads to increased fluid loss and excessive energy expenditure, which can be dangerous in people suffering from cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. High fever is especially dangerous for children who have an increased tendency to convulsions.

When should the temperature be lowered?

  • For severe discomfort.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • When the temperature rises above 38.5°C.

Tips for lowering the temperature:

The room should not be too hot and should be ventilated regularly. Do not rub the patient’s skin with alcohol – this can increase the chills. It is necessary to drink plenty of warm liquids (mineral water, preferably without gas; fruit drinks). If chills occur, the patient should not be wrapped. Of the drugs to reduce the temperature, paracetamol, ibuprofen are suitable. Pay attention to the dosage of the drug – always read the instructions on the package.

When to call a doctor immediately:

  • For fever lasting longer than 24-48 hours in an adult or adolescent (or longer than 6-12 hours in a child under 2 years of age).
  • When the temperature rises above 38.5°C.
  • With the appearance of disturbances of consciousness: delirium, hallucinations, agitation; as well as with severe headache, convulsive seizures, respiratory failure.