Additional Facts About Fevers
- Fevers need to be treated only if they are causing discomfort (and usually a fever has to be above 102 or 103 degrees before making a child uncomfortable).
- Treating a fever usually doesn't bring the body temperature back to normal -- just down 2 or 3 degrees.
- Only 4 percent of children have fever seizures -- marked by a momentary loss of consciousness, eyes rolling back, shaking, twitching, or stiffening -- and when seizures do occur they cause no permanent harm.
- How your child looks is more important than the exact reading on the thermometer.
Even if you decide not to treat a fever, it is a good idea to keep track of it. It can give your doctor useful information when making a diagnosis, explains Dr. Joan Shook, director of the emergency room at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. The pattern of the fever can tell doctors when the illness is naturally running its course or when something more serious may be going on.