Patients & Families
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Fevers often happen when a child has an infection or other illness. A fever helps the body stimulate the immune system to fight the infection or illness. Experts believe turning up the heat makes the body a less comfortable place for germs that cause illness.
In healthy kids, fevers aren’t usually a sign of a serious problem.
A fever can be serious for:
If your child has a fever and other symptoms, like a stomachache or sore throat, call the doctor. A good sign that it’s nothing serious is if your child is 3 months or older and:
Fevers usually don’t need treatment. Home care (rest, plenty of fluids) often is enough to manage a fever. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can ease discomfort, but kids or teens should not take aspirin, which has been linked to a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.
Kids with a fever should stay home from school, work, or childcare until their temperature has been normal for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.