In a healthy person, a fever usually isn't a sign of anything serious. Although a high temperature can be frightening, a fever can actually be a good thing when it's in response to an infection or illness. Experts believe turning up the heat makes the body a less comfortable place for germs that cause infections.
Not all fevers need to be treated. High fever, however, can be uncomfortable and worsen problems such as dehydration.
Someone with a fever should stay home from school, work, or childcare until the 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.