Myth: All fevers are bad for children
Fact: Fevers turn on the body's immune system. Fevers are on the the body's protective mechanisms. Most fevers between 100 F and 104 F (38 C to 40 C) are good for sick children and help the body fight infection. The exception is babies less than 3 months of age. They should be seen by a healthcare provider right away.
Myth: All fevers are to be treated with fever medicine
Fact: Fevers need to be treated only if they cause discomfort. Usually that means fevers over 102 F or 103 F (39 C or 39.4 C).
Myth: Fevers cause brain damage or fevers over 104 F (40 C) are dangerous
Fact: Fevers with infections don't cause brain damage. Only body temperatures over 108 F (42 C) can cause brain damage. The body temperature goes this high only with extreme environmental temperatures (for example, if a child is confined in a closed car in hot weather).
Myth: Without treatment, fevers will keep going higher
Fact: Wrong. Because the brain has a thermostat, fevers from infection usually top out at 103 F to 104 F (39.4 C to 40 C).